Will Bragg’s initiative in gaining qualifications and work experience throughout his county career has helped him win one of this year’s Professional Cricketers’ Association Personal Development Scholarship Awards.
Bragg has gained a degree in civil engineering and post-graduate qualifications in wealth management while playing for Glamorgan and has also been active in securing internships and work placements to help him to prepare for life after cricket.
Now Bragg has scooped £1,000 in prize money as a winner, along with Derbyshire’s Billy Godleman, in the Current Players category of the awards. Bragg will use the money to fund further courses to further improve an already impressive CV,
“The money will reimburse my credit card because I’ve run up quite a few bills on my Personal Development. This will help to reimburse those costs and also to help pay for some future exams,” Bragg said.
“The PCA are a really pioneering organisation. I have friends from various other professional sports and they are nowhere near as advanced as we are at the PCA.”
The awards which were introduced in 2013, reward the most proactive current and former professional cricketers in England and Wales who have sought ways to develop and improve themselves off the pitch.
Yorkshire batsman Alex Lees and Leicestershire wicketkeeper/batsman Lewis Hill were winners in the Newcomers category with former Surrey seamer Tim Linley and former Warwickshire slow left-armer Paul Best triumphing in the Past Player Progression Personal Development Awards.
Linley also received an additional £1,000 after his presentation, which included a practical demonstration of his barista skills, was highly commended by the judging panel of PCA Chief Executive David Leatherdale, former Glamorgan batsman Ian Thomas, who is now the PCA’s Head of Development and Welfare, and two PCA Personal Development & Welfare Managers, Charlie Mulraine and Lynsey Williams.
“It was my first time presenting to anyone. It’s pretty daunting but once I got in there I settled quickly and everything went smoothly,” Bragg said.
Although Bragg has no immediate plans to retire from county cricket he is aware that playing professional cricket will form only part of his working life.
“Everyone is ambitious and most people’s ambitions are fulfilled once they have played professional cricket.
Some guys get lost because they have no sense of direction once they stop playing cricket,” Bragg said.
“You have a short shelf life, as we all know, so it’s a case of trying to motivate and dedicate yourself to another career that is fundamentally going to interest you.
“When you are in your early twenties you are stuck in this cricketing bubble, but it’s so vital to really build a plan for yourself year-on-year, more work experience, more qualifications. You need to identify what area you want to go into and have a plan for what you want to do when you end your playing career.
“First and foremost, it’s having that dual ambition. We are all ambitious to play cricket but it’s about broadening your horizons and finding a career that is going to motivate you and also trying to educate clubs and youngsters from an early age that it is so important.”