ECB urges 'Go Green' for NatWest CricketForce 2008
Cricket clubs taking part in NatWest CricketForce 2008 will be urged to 'Go Green' as part of the ECB's campaign to improve energy efficiency and conservation at every level of the game.
David Collier, the ECB Chief Executive, will officially launch next years NatWest CricketForce at the NatWest Series One-Day International against India at Edgbaston on August 27, 2007 and from the outset, the emphasis will be on improving the green rating of cricket.
“Already, we have been working with our Test match sponsors npower on ways of improving the green rating of cricket and now, through NatWest CricketForce, were are linking that Test arena again with the grass roots of the sport," said Collier who will be lending his support to one of the ECB's showcase clubs when NatWest CricketForce 2008 takes place between April 4 and 6 next year.
“Our aim in 2008 is to involve even more clubs and even more volunteers than we have managed in our recent record breaking years. The worth to cricket clubs of the effort produced by the tens of thousands of volunteers both young and old is measured in many millions.”
Clubs that register to participate will be shown how saving energy can benefit them, their communities and the game in general, explained ECB Clubs Programme Manager Dave Leighton.
"That could be ensuring that there is more energy efficiency, conservation of water, exploring ways of sustaining energy supplies - i.e. reduce, re-use, recycle and insulate. In this way, cricket will secure even more support from government, the local authorities and the business world and be seen as a really responsible and forward looking sport.”
Last year NatWest CricketForce was another huge success with more than 80,000 volunteers turning out on a bright sunny weekend at more than 1,150 clubs around the UK, bringing the total number of volunteers over the past three years to 200,000.
They included some of the biggest names in the international game with England players Alastair Cook and Owais Shah, England’s women’s captain Charlotte Edwards and opener Charlotte Atkins all lending their support to Shepperton Cricket Club where a new clubhouse and changing facilities were unveiled.
Shepperton completed the renovations in four months, with the help of a £50,000 loan from the England and Wales Cricket Trust and a special fund-raising campaign that contributed another £9,000 to the £70,000 bill.
They also received help from local businesses, builders and the community who helped them finish the project in record time.
“We had a pretty dated pavilion,” said Caroline Atkins, who plays for the club. “Showers were a bit cold. The facilities were due an update,” she added.
“NatWest CricketForce is a brilliant initiative. It’s the biggest volunteer initiative in British sport and it gives clubs the impetus to do something to improve their facilities.”
Since it was launched in 2002, NatWest CricketForce has seen big year-on-year rises in the numbers of volunteers and the amount of money involved.
In 2006, an estimated £25 million was invested in clubs in England and Wales with 70,000 volunteers pitching in, which was 20,000 more than the year before and in 2007, the target figure of 80,000 was achieved after five clubs were selected at Bells Yew Green, Macknade, Cheadle Hulme, Sileby Town and Hampset to showcase the initiative. Around £35 million is thought to have been invested which is substantially up on the previous year.