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Sibton Park CC celebrates opening of new ground

Sibton Park CC

Since Sibton Park opened up their club cricket to girls two years ago, they have been inundated with applications, prompting the need to expand their practice and playing facilities by more than half.

On Wednesday July 11, the new extension at the ground in Lyminge near Folkestone is formally opened by England's Jo Watts who will cut the ribbon as part of a special Chance to Shine Festival featuring 88 girls from secondary schools throughout the Shepway region.

The extension has created three new grass strips for junior cricket and practice matches as well as an artificial wicket provided by Chance to Shine. In 2007, the junior section has 114 members including 35 girls.

"It has been a bigger success than we had planned," said Mike Leadbetter from Sibton Park CC.

"We are one of six clubs in Kent, and only 200 in the country, delivering Chance to Shine cricket training to schools but instead of going into primary schools, we concentrated on Year 7 girls in the secondary schools who had never played cricket before and it has really taken off."

The event will be supported by the Kent radio station KMFM who will be broadcasting from Sibton throughout the day and various local newspapers and ECB TV.

On Wednesday, proceedings start at 10.00am when the Festival gets underway. The opening is timed for 1.30pm when the VIPs and dignitaries from the Kent Cricket Board including Cricket Development Manager David Sear and Director of Cricket Development Jamie Clifford.

Around 160 guests are expected to attend and everyone involved is praying for an upturn in weather prospects.