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Bredbury St Marks CC are 1,000th NatWest CricketForce 2006 club

Bredbury St Marks CC in Stockport have become the 1,000th club to register for this year’s NatWest CricketForce 2006 weekend on April 8/9.

An estimated 70,000 volunteers - enough to fill The Millennium Stadium - will give their time to renovate community cricket clubs across 39 counties over the weekend in what has become the nation’s biggest annual volunteering event.

From building disabled access ramps to renovating nets and painting pavilions, an army of cricket supporters will be joined by England and County players to ensure everyone is prepared for another exiting summer of cricket – at every level of the game.

Established in 1913, Bredbury St Marks CC play in Division Two of the Cheshire County Cricket League, run four senior teams and operate junior sections for girls and boys.

David Collier, ECB Chief Executive, said: “We knew that NatWest CricketForce 2006 would be bigger and better than ever before and I am delighted that so many cricket clubs have taken the opportunity to unite their communities pre-season.

"Thank you to all those who have committed to the project and good luck over the weekend."

The first club to begin work will be Upminster CC in Essex, who launch the nationwide event on Friday April 7 with the help of England men's and women’s players and Essex CCC.

The first club to register for the 2006 event was Purley CC in Croydon.

Helen Page, Marketing Director at NatWest, said: “NatWest CricketForce has justifiably established itself in the cricket calendar and, together with the ECB, we recognise the huge contribution volunteers make to cricket.

"NatWest is committed to investing in the community so developing grassroots cricket in this way is important to our involvement in the game.

"We are again encouraging NatWest staff across our branch network to get involved with activity at their local cricket club, and by giving up their personal time they can also receive up to £500 for their local club as part of NatWest’s Community Cashback Award Scheme."

Anyone belonging to a cricket club who would like to take part in the initiative should visit our NatWest CricketForce 2006 section for details of how to sign up. Or, if you could spare a few hours on April 8/9 to help your local club please email your details with cricketforce@ecb.co.uk.

Last year 665 clubs and 50,000 volunteers took part in NatWest Cricket Force 2005. In 2002, Lingfield CC (Surrey) was the very first NatWest CricketForce pilot club.

NatWest corporate logo

NatWest CricketForce is one of the many initiatives sponsored by NatWest to develop the sport at a grassroots level:

  • The annual Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs) held in October at Lord’s to recognize cricket’s thousands of unsung heroes
  • Last year over 10,000 children took part in the NatWest Inter Cricket Indoor League
  • The NatWest Interactive Roadshow events help to bring cricket to the general public across the nation. The Speed Star bowling competition at the roadshow has seen over 25,000 children take part over the last four years
  • NatWest is the key sponsor of the following events in 2006: NatWest CricketForce, NatWest Inter Cricket Indoor League, Inter Cricket Summer Camps, NatWest Interactive Roadshow and Speed Stars bowling competition, the NatWest Series (two five-match one-day international tournaments, England v Sri Lanka and England v Pakistan) and the NatWest Women’s Series.
  • Community Cashback Awards are a means of recognising the efforts of NatWest employees as fundraisers and/or volunteers. Community Cashback Awards allow NatWest to make a difference to the local community organisations and charities that benefit from the time, effort and skills of employees. In 2004, 5518 Awards were paid totalling £1.9m across the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which includes NatWest.