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Clubmark 500 down - over 500 to go!

Theale and Tilehurst CC in Berkshire have become the 500th club across England and Wales to achieve ECB Clubmark accreditation.

The club will celebrate their achievement while ‘making over’ their club grounds on Saturday April 8 - as part of NatWest CricketForce 2006 weekend.

Theale and Tilehurst CC

They have even more to celebrate, as on the same day they officially open their new outdoor net facility supported by funding from the Lord’s Taverners, the Berkshire Community Foundation and an amazing fundraising effort by the club itself.

The club have invested a significant amount of time, effort and finance over the past three years to secure outdoor net facilities and achieve ECB Clubmark accreditation. The club are one of Berkshire’s 32 focus clubs and have a club development plan fully endorsed by the Berkshire Cricket Board.

By doing all of the above, Theale and Tilehurst CC will be one of a number of focus clubs across Berkshire that will benefit from the imminent appointment of four Community Cricket Coaches.

The club will work with the community cricket coach to provide high-quality coaching in local schools, increase opportunities for all young cricketers to play at the club and provide ongoing support to club volunteers - a fantastic opportunity and tangible benefit for the club.

ECB Clubmark was launched back in 2002, with the first clubs achieving accreditation in 2003. It has taken three years for the 500 accredited club milestone to be achieve. Currently over 1300 cricket clubs are actively working towards accreditation status – so the future is indeed strong!

The ECB, through its strategic plan Building Partnerships has set a national milestone of over 1000 cricket clubs achieving ECB Clubmark accreditation by 2009. The individual successes of the 500 accredited clubs to date, sets the recreational game in good stead to achieve the 2009 target.

The ECB is one of over 22 national governing bodies of sport that deliver Clubmark accreditation. Across England over 5,000 sports clubs are working towards achieving the criteria. For further information go to www.sportengland.org/clubmark

Theale and Tilehurst CC, like many other clubs, are preparing for the upcoming 2006 season. However, it is the hard work and dedication off the pitch, during the winter months, that paves the way for success and achievement on the pitch.

Theale and Tilehurst CC should be commended for their approach to club development as they continue to be a focal point within their local community.