Clubs join forces
Ashbourne Cricket Club and Clifton Cricket Club joined forces recently to be Derbyshire’s showcase clubs for NatWest CricketForce.
Derbyshire Cricket Board chose Clifton and Ashbourne from 64 clubs across the county after both put forward strong cases having worked together to strengthen cricket in the area and develop closer links to the community.
This was the second time in six years Clifton has been selected and the ongoing aim of improving the ground and links with the local community continues to bring rewards.
Around 60 people helped with various projects at Clifton over the three days, which began with club chairman Roger Jones meeting former England captain Mike Gatting at Radio Derby for an interview and ended with him being handed a cheque for £500 from The Cock Inn towards their ground redevelopment plans.
All areas of Clifton CC were represented over the three days with juniors, families, ladies and men’s members volunteering to undertake roles ranging from painting the changing rooms to varnishing the benches, slabbing the patio to putting up sightscreens, organising the bar and photographing the event.
At the same time volunteers from the ECB and the Midlands Regional Volunteer Manager helped with the various projects and Clifton also received donations from villagers who could not attend during the weekend.
Clifton’s aim of painting the boundary board around the ground in one hour was a huge success. As the stop watch started the English weather took a nasty turn and the volunteers felt the rain on their back, but not disheartened they managed to paint the whole white boundary board in eighteen minutes.
This event reflected the NatWest CricketForce ethos whereby groups come together to make light work of previously tiresome projects and now anyone who drives down Collycroft can see the gleaming cricket ground.
The completion of all of these projects resulted in the club being prepared for the season much earlier than normal.
“We have been a part of NatWest CricketForce now for number of years and this year's event has comfortably been our most successful," said Jones.
"Along with Ashbourne Cricket Club, we have shown the strength of feeling for cricket in this area. At Clifton we have increased the number of participants and accomplished things over the three days which in the past has taken us weeks.
"We want to say a massive ‘thank you’ to all those who volunteered. In particular we’d like to thank Derby College, JDB Builders, Buildbase, Homebase, Build Centres and Clifton villagers who made donations towards our major project and, of course, The Cock Inn.
"Andrew and Loraine continue to be exceptionally supportive of us and we are thankful for their enthusiastic, generous and long term support. This year's NatWest CricketForce has been a spectacular success in every way.”