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In praise of non-cricketing volunteers

Posted in Facilties and Funding

Two events have prompted me to write this blog. Firstly I was a guest at the inaugural Lancashire Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards where many people who work tirelessly for cricket received some just recognition.

Secondly I attended the opening of Compstall Cricket Club’s new pavilion where fortunately the weather held off and a great time was had by all.

I have been working with Compstall Cricket Club on this particular project for around 2 years, but the project team at the club were working on it for much longer and it was great to see all their hard work finally come to fruition.

The driving force behind this project has been Alan Smith, and he has brought a great deal of expertise and experience to bear as well as many hundreds of hours of his time. Alan is a chartered quantity surveyor who has held various roles within the construction industry as a commercial director, consultant and most latterly chief executive. Through his influence the project team at Compstall included an architect, a structural engineer, a mechanical and electrical engineer and experts in procurement and planning.

One of the remarkable aspects of Alan Smith’s dedication is that whilst he is a keen fan, he has never been a cricketer. Most of you will know someone at your club who may well be ‘just’ a spectator or a parent, but who could be willing and able to help. At my own club, in cricketing terms, our Treasurer is widely acknowledged as a fine cyclist. He is also hugely respected for the expertise he has provided the club in producing accounts and budgets and re-structuring the club finances so that facility developments could be prioritised.

Compstall were in the incredibly fortunate position of being able to gather the skills to manage their project ‘in-house’. Very few clubs will be in the position to replicate this model, but every club needs someone to organise and communicate the club’s perspective in any facility development, even if the skills to manage the project are bought in. It is vital to have someone who is IT literate, organised and a good communicator to liaise with funding bodies, contractors, planners etc.

Every club will have someone who has skills from their working life which could make them the perfect person to coordinate your facility development – you may just have to ask them.