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Sonning benefit from NWCF

Sonning CC

Volunteers help to bring Sonning's facilities up to scratch ahead of the new season during NatWest CricketForce last weekend

Sonning CC received around 100 man-hours of volunteer work after participating in the nationwide initiative NatWest CricketForce last weekend.

Under the direction of pavilion manager Ben Zagorski, 15 volunteers turned out to help with a number of projects designed to get the club ready for the coming season and to bring the facilities up to the standard expected of such a successful village cricket club.

The volunteer work on the day will nationally save cost to all clubs to ensure that necessary funds can be allocated to further improving both junior and senior sections.

Ali Driver, chairman of Sonning, was delighted with the day’s work, saying: “As with last year we had plenty of volunteers and when I strolled up halfway through the session they were all beavering away with paintbrushes, hoovers and powerwashers giving the pavilion an excellent make-over.

“This kind of support serves to remind us that not only do we have a very strong playing club, with a great social set up, we also have plenty of members who really care about the club off the field. This bodes very well for sustained success in the future.”

Dave Leighton, ECB club programmes manager, said: “We saw clubs do more for themselves in two days last year than they had for years before. It made a real difference to clubs including increased revenue, improved facilities, increased participation and a great sense of community spirit."

On the playing side, Sonning’s first XI get their season off the ground with a friendly against Wokingham at home on April 23 and then open their Thames Valley League campaign with a home match against Maidenhead and Bray on May 7.

The club have now started a Sunday second XI to give up and coming juniors a taste of adult cricket and they have entered their Sunday first XI into the Three Counties League and Cup competitions.

Driver is particularly pleased with this latest development, adding: “This is exactly what we had in mind when started junior cricket three years ago – ie. that we once we were in a position to run an Under 15s which could then start to filter the best of those lads into the adult teams.

“Now we have five junior teams from under-9s through to under-15s and five adult teams, so there is plenty of opportunity to make this vision a reality.”

Despite the fact that the club have already attracted over 20 new players for the 2011 season, Driver is still keen to recruit high standard players to bolster the top end of the club.

Anyone who has played the equivalent of Thames Valley League Divsion 4 or higher and is keen to join, is encouraged to contact Ali Driver, via the club’s website