Recognition in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours came as a shock for a Hawke's Bay cricket stalwart.
Raymond (Ray) Henry Mettrick, of Havelock North, received a Queen's Service Medal (QSM) for services to cricket.
Mettrick said the accolade came out of the blue but was a nice way of recognising the importance of the Riverbend Camp Cricket Tournament in Hawke's Bay.
"I was really surprised by it."
Mettrick founded the camp in 1980 as a way to boost youth cricket in the region.
He also led it until 2002 before it was handed over to the Hawke's Bay Cricket Association.
"I think it really made Hawke's Bay cricket.
"It makes me feel good seeing it now ... how it has progressed.
"The standard of school cricket in Hawke's Bay is very good."
In the 22 years of the tournament under his leadership, 1350 teams played more than 4500 cricket matches.
"We had 20,000 cricketers go through the camp in my time.
"I still get guys from 40 years ago telling me stories from their time at camp."
The success of the tournament outgrew its Hastings roots and expanded with games being played in Taupo, Dannevirke, Ongaonga and Waipawa.
Since 2002 Mettrick has been active in a wide range of programmes for young cricketers.
He is a founding member of the Cornwall Cricket Club and has coached five of the club's teams for 14 years.
"The club has been a big part of my life ... there's fantastic people there."
He has been a key driver of girls' cricket in Hawke's Bay and has coached numerous Cornwall Cricket Club's girls' teams.
He has also organised indoor cricket competitions at the Hastings Indoor Sports Arena during winter for children learning to play.
Mettrick was made a life member of the Hawke's Bay Cricket Association in 2011.
He received Hawke's Bay Sports Administrator of the Year in 1980 and Sport Hawke's Bay Service Award in 2002.