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Theale and Tilehurst celebrate 500 up for Clubmark!

Theale and Tilehurst CC had double cause for celebration as the ECB officially opened their new two-lane net bay facility - and presented the club with their ECB Clubmark accreditation, the 500th to be so recognised to date!

The Berkshire club are reaping the rewards of all their hard work over the past year. And it was fitting that the Clubmark presentation came as club members participated in the NatWest CricketForce 2006 weekend.

Theale and Tilehurst CC

In 1997, Theale CC and Tilehurst CC amalgamated to form Theale and Tilehurst CC. This allowed the newly formed club to maximise the available cricket facilitities and use the combined administration strengths to drive themselves forwards. Almost ten years on, the club is planning to celebrate their first decade by hosting a celebratory cricket week in July 2007.

The two-lane net bay, funded through the Lord’s Taverners, The Berkshire Community Fund and the club itself, provides vital outdoor practice facilities for the thriving junior and senior teams at the club.

The club has a very friendly and welcoming feel. The family orientated atmosphere created by several generations of the same families playing or helping is clear to see.

The club have a strong tradition of players joining as juniors - progressing and staying with the club to play senior cricket. Many ‘senior’ or retired players have gone on to become volunteers and support the club behind the scenes.

The club’s achievement of becoming the 500th cricket club across England and Wales to secure ECB Clubmark accreditation status has opened up a number of opportunities.

The club feels the achievement demonstrates they are a well-run club and that people can have confidence in the quality of cricket offered. They also feel that the achievement will support the club in pursuing investment in the future.

The club have been working closely with one of the local secondary schools, Theale Green, to rejuvenate cricket at the school which had been in decline. The school are looking to refurbish their indoor nets.

With the support and expertise that Theale and Tilehurst CC can offer the school, a strong relationship is building and, if everything goes to plan, the club will be using the indoor nets for winter training and the school will have a high-quality club on their doorstep to support junior cricket development.

The club have big, but realistic plans for the future and are proud of the aspirations they have documented in their club development plan. One specific project - Street Cricket - is supported by Reading Borough Council and the club’s Community Cricket Coach.

The Street Cricket sessions run once a week for eight weeks encouraging young people to take part in cricket. The club have hosted a Kwik Cricket festival of club juniors versus the Street Cricket juniors and, as a result, the club have welcomed a number of new young people.

Eddie Ellis, Club President, is incredibly complimentary of three club members in particular. Brian Cooper, Nigel Halliday and Phil Jenkins have been the core driving force and have engaged the whole club membership to support the writing of the club’s development plan, attract funding for the new net bay facility and achieve Clubmark status.

The ECB congratulates the whole club for their successes to date.

The club are always looking for help, support and investment to achieve their goals. For further details, please visit www.thealeandtilehurstcc.co.uk