Weymouth CC becomes 100th club to receive ClubMark accreditation
ECB Chief Executive Tim Lamb has hailed Weymouth Cricket Club's achievement of becoming the 100th club to be awarded ClubMark accreditation as a 'significant step forward for club cricket in England and Wales'.
The award reflects Weymouth Cricket Club's position as one of the strongest in the county with a team in the Dorset Premier League, a well-stocked junior section, and a women's team which won the Dorset Women's title last season.
The ECB/Sport England ClubMark accreditation scheme is a national programme that seeks to recognise good practice in a number of areas such as Child Welfare. With it come a range of benefits, not least the profile the scheme brings and the positive messages it sends to the local community, schools, community groups, local authorities and other local funding agencies about the quality and safety of a club's junior section.
Lamb said: “This is a very positive landmark for club cricket as the ECB aims to boost the capacity of club junior sections and ensure that young boys and girls are able to play the game in a safe and secure environment. The ClubMark scheme will make a major contribution to cricket development in England and Wales.”
Weymouth Cricket Club – a model for cricket development
Weymouth CC has been identified as a Focus Club by the Dorset Cricket Board in recognition of its strategic and geographical importance as well as its ability to deliver the development objectives of the county. It has a proven track record in administration, player and facility development.
So how has Weymouth CC arrived at such a lofty position within the county?
The involvement of Dorset's Cricket Development Officer has been crucial in helping the club to go forward with its plans. The first stage was to assist the club in achieving ClubMark, which guarantees a base level of quality in all areas of Health and Safety and child protection.
The next stage is to ensure the club's development plan is aligned with the county development plan, so that it not only addresses the needs of the club but also of the district and county as well. This in turn will help the club secure future funding and demonstrate a clear development path to potential sponsors.
The CDO also plays a central role in offering asssitance in a number of other key development areas: volunteer recruitment and training, school to club links, coach education, Active Sport, summer cricket schools, facilities development, grant aid and so on.
Links with the local authorities are important too. Weymouth are represented on the West Dorset Development Group which sets the agenda for the local 'Coaching in Schools' programme as well as running District sides etc. Weymouth and Portland were one of the first local authorities to set up the Sports College network and as such Weymouth have already developed strong links with the Partnership Development Manager.
The facilities at Weymouth's ground, Redlands, are good and improving. The ground has three grass pitches, kept to a high quality standard by a full-time groundsman, which enables them to run several senior and junior sides. Whatsmore, the club has also recently been granted Community Club Development Funding (CCDF) to develop grass practice pitches and to build a four lane net facility.
This allows the club to share its facilities with Wey Valley Secondary School and, through its large coaching staff who run regular junior coaching sessions and summer cricket schools, maintain good relationships with all local schools - encouraging young cricketers to make the transition from school cricket to club cricket at Redlands.
With a commitment to improving its facilities and administration through volunteers and officials, the club's future is bright. It aims to build on its strong tradition of producing good quality cricketers including Ben Lawes, who played for Cardiff UCCE last year and is currently representing the senior Dorset team, and Dan Belt, who toured the West Indies last year with the West of England Under 15s.