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Lancashire hits 100 mark

Lancashire has become the first county in the country to achieve 100 ECB Clubmark accredited clubs.

The ECB Clubmark accreditation scheme is a national programme that seeks to recognise ‘safe, effective and child friendly’ practices within clubs.

With it come a range of benefits, not least the profile the scheme brings and the positive messages it sends to the local community, schools, community groups, local authorities and other local funding agencies about the quality and safety of a club's junior section.

Andrew Hayhurst, director of the Lancashire Cricket Board, said: “We are proud of all our Clubmark accredited clubs from the first one to achieve Clubmark three years ago, to the recent 100th club.

"All these accredited clubs, I’m pleased to say, continue to grow stronger by putting into practice the essence of Clubmark and junior cricket development, offering a safe, effective and child friendly environment for all.”

Clubmark-accredited clubs have invested a significant amount of time and effort over the past 3-4 years to achieve ECB Clubmark status.

Most of these clubs are Focus Clubs that have a club development plan endorsed by the Lancashire Cricket Board and also work with local primary and secondary schools to create official school-club links.

By achieving Clubmark and working as a Focus Club for the LCB, focus clubs across Lancashire may benefit from funding and appointments of four community cricket coaches within their areas, which has already started in some Local Authorities.

Focus clubs will be able to work with the community cricket coaches 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 clubs.

ECB Clubmark was launched back in 2002, with the first clubs achieving accreditation in 2003. It has taken three years for the 100th accredited club milestone to be achieved. Currently 93 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 1,000 clubs achieving Clubmark accreditation by 2009. The individual successes of the 100 accredited clubs in Lancashire to date, will more than help 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 visit www.clubmark.org.uk.