Shepperton launch NatWest CricketForce 2007 in style
ECB chief executive David Collier and a host of England players helped launch NatWest CricketForce 2007 in style - and celebrate Shepperton CC's remarkable project in the process.
The Surrey club was chosen as the launch site for the 2007 nationwide volunteering event having demolished their existing clubhouse and changing rooms and replaced them with superb new facilities inside four months during the past winter.
Backed by a £50,000 loan from the England and Wales Cricket Trust, the club took on the £70,000 project undaunted by its scope or the comparative lack of time to complete it. And backed by a dedicated committee and some very willing volunteers they have succeeded where others may not even have dared to tread.
England players Alastair Cook and Owais Shah, England women's captain Charlotte Edwards and team-mate Caroline Atkins - who plays for the club - were joined by Surrey's Alec Stewart, local MP David Wilshire, dirctor of cricket development for Surrey Paul Taylor and numerous officials from Surrey Cricket and ECB to ensure the day passed smoothly, despite some torrential rain.
More than 40 local schoolchildren enjoyed the NatWest Cricket Roadshow and the ECB's Cricket Factory, as well as some Kwik Cricket Games with the players.
NatWest CricketForce encourages cricket supporters, their friends and families to give something back to their local community cricket club by volunteering to undertake major renovations to clubhouses and grounds.
The driving theme for NatWest CricketForce 2007 is using the event to help recruit key volunteers in to clubs and contribute enormously to the ECB's strategy target of achieving 85,000 volunteer roles.
1,150 clubs across England and Wales registered to take part - 100 up on NatWest CricketForce 2006 - seeing around 80,000 volunteers at work, and bringing £35 million worth of investment to clubs from the local community and businesses.