‘Nice to be acknowledged’

20 not out . . . North Otago Cricket Association chairman Peter Cameron received a Citizens Award last week after 20 years in the role.

Waitaki is richer for the work its residents do behind the scenes. The Oamaru Mail is running a series celebrating this year’s Waitaki Citizens Awards recipients. This week, Peter Cameron tells Nic Duff about his life-long involvement with North Otago Cricket.

After 20 years of service, an Oamaru cricket tragic has added yet another accolade to his resume.

North Otago Cricket Association chairman Peter Cameron was recognised at the Waitaki Citizens Awards last week.

The award was ‘‘very much a surprise’’, he said.

‘‘I wasn’t expecting it, but still it’s nice to be acknowledged for [my] contributions.’’

Mr Cameron has been the chairman of North Otago Cricket since 2002 and was a made a life member in 2017.

The association had ‘‘come a long way’’ in that time, he said.

‘‘We started as a committee of club players and then transitioned to a board situation. That’s worked well, and we’ve had some members who have been on there up to about 10 years, so we’ve had continuity of board members, which has been ideal.’’

Developing strong school teams by having them compete in the men’s senior grade had helped keep them in the game, he said.

‘‘All sports struggle in the transfer from primary to secondary, and then from secondary into the workforce and tend to lose a lot of players, but, in last year and this, we have got good cricketers coming out of the schools, so that does look good for the future of cricket in North Otago.’’

Mr Cameron had a background in banking and had worked as both a mortgage and insurance broker.

This experience, as well as having a strong board, had a great impact on the association, he said.

‘‘The days have passed where you can have one-man-bands running [a district association], so that is important, and your financial relationships are a big part of it, because without money there’s not a lot of things you can do.’’

North Otago had won the Hawke Cup three times in the past 13 years.

This was a good reflection of the work done behind the scenes, he said.

‘‘Any business — in particular sports — what happens on the field, very often relates to the management and structures behind those teams, and having the board that we have, I think we’ve done a great job.’’

Mr Cameron grew up in Dunedin and played cricket for Port Chalmers, representing Otago at age-group levels.

He also spent time living in Central Otago, before shifting to Oamaru in 1984, where he played twilight and indoor cricket before joining Union Cricket Club.

He finished his playing days with 165 games for the club, 113 of those as captain, and was the longest-serving president (1997 to 2008) and treasurer 1999 and 2000, and 2003 to 2022) in the club’s history, as well as becoming a life member in 2008.

Mr Cameron was also one of only two from North Otago to be made a life member of the Otago Cricket Association.

His contribution to cricket in the Waitaki was recognised on an international stage in 2009 when he was awarded the International Cricket Council’s Centennial Medal.

This medal was one of only 1000 presented worldwide and recognised exceptional voluntary services to the game.