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Wirksworth thrilled by support


Wirksworth have refurbished their pavilion

England pacemen Matthew Hoggard and James Anderson will arrive in style when they drop into Wirksworth Cricket Club on Sunday as the NatWest CricketForce weekend gathers pace.

The pair will arrive by helicopter and are due to get a rousing reception as they don overalls to help renovate the club’s ground, with over 100 volunteers also expected to attend over the weekend.

NatWest CricketForce is currently in its fourth year and is part of ECB's NatWest Volunteer programme, which has grown by over 6,000% from humble origins in 2002, when just one club took part. Now over 650 are registered to participate, which represents 1 in 10 of all cricket clubs across the UK.

Wirksworth publicity manager Allison Nolan told “To have two international cricketers fly in by helicopter will be great, we really appreciate all that the ECB have done to help with the redevelopment of our ground which has needed refurbishment for some time.

“The event has really captured the imagination of the public and Derbyshire County Cricket Club could not have done anything more to help with the preparations.”

Derbyshire captain Luke Sutton and the county’s Cricket Development Officer Nick Glenn have been a tremendous help in setting up what will probably be the biggest day in the club’s history, and Sutton will officially re-open the pavilion at 4.30pm.


The hard work will be made worthwhile at the weekend

The work has been made possible thanks to huge support from many local companies who have donated over £8,000 worth of equipment and materials. These include a new kitchen from Magnet, materials from Homebase, B&Q, Travis Perkins, Harlows, Country Tiles, Tapton Estates and Hewdens, plus new windows from Genesis.

As well as a new kitchen, the clubroom, dressing rooms, toilets and outside seating area will also form part of the renovation, with almost all the materials being donated and labour given voluntarily.

Hoggard and Anderson will be helping with the restoration and will also be holding a coaching session with local youngsters, all adding to the raising of the club's profile, which is one of 19 from the Derbyshire area that is set to participate in NatWest CricketForce 2005.

ECB recently announce a third grant for the club’s redevelopment from the Community Club Development Fund which will pay for 'ride on' ground machinery, including a heavy roller for the wicket, and mowers for the square and outfield.

NatWest CricketForce 2005 logo high res

This latest financial support takes ECB’s financial input to over £50,000 and Nolan is full of praise for their support, adding: “We have been overwhelmed by the support, both financial and organisation the ECB have provided.

“The volunteer pack provided showed in easy-to-understand format how to organise ourselves and the addition of a DVD helped us sell the concept to local companies who have really bought into the idea.

“Interest has been phenomenal and we have had good coverage on Radio Derby, who invited myself, Nick Glenn and Luke Sutton into the studio to conduct interviews.”

In addition to the England cricket stars, the ECB Roadshow will also be in attendance complete with NatWest flicx pitch, virtual reality headset game and other activities for children and adults alike for what should be a day to remember.