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Pool CC net £18,000 award

Following a nervewracking pitch to a panel of millionaires Pool CC came out as a winner in 'Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway', walking away with a stunning £18,000.

The money awarded to the club will go towards completing a long-delayed scheme to create new changing rooms that will be able to accommodate women and include disabled access.

According to Tony Bowry, West Yorkshire Women and Girls Association president: "This money will be boosted by another £20,000 from the local councillors and £5,000 raised by the club`s efforts.

"This should also help secure the club a place in the Premier Ladies Cricket League and the long-term development of cricket for women and girls at Pool Cricket Club."

For Pool Pumas it will mean a more secure future at the club and will allow them to grow and expand attracting more girls from across the local area.

Naomi who is relatively new to the club stated: "I haven't been at Pool long but I would be devastated if any of my friends had to leave the club as it would feel like losing part of my family.

"The money we have been given means we can get better facilities so that hopefully we can all stay together."

Pool Pumas

Pool CC's women and girls cricket section is an important part of the Yorkshire club

The person who instigated the whole thing by making that initial phone call to the ITV programme, Wendi Bolton, added: It is only now that we are starting to realise what has been achieved and just what this money will really mean for the club.

"Without it we would not have good enough facilities to meet league requirements and if we couldn't play in the higher leagues some of our top players would have had to consider moving to another club to gain the right level of competition.

"Hopefully this will no longer be the case and we will be able to grow and develop as a club, retaining the players we have worked with since they started playing cricket.

"Our goal is to eventually play in the Premier League, which is an ambitious target, but now at least we have a better chance of achieving it."

Andrew Watson, Yorkshire Cricket Board's director of development explained further: "The West Yorkshire Women and Girls Development Group was born out of Pool CC and the club's desire to develop women and girls' cricket.

"The club is now ready to start their women's team after many years developing their junior girls section. The club is at the forefront of girls' development in the county, with many girls playing at district and county level.

"The club received CCDF funding three years ago to improve their square and practice facilities. We hope that the £18,000 received from 'Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway' will enable them to provide better changing facilities and link with the NatWest CricketForce weekend to produce an outstanding combined project."

Pool CC

Pool Cricket Club's pavilion

NatWest CricketForce is the next instalment planned for Pool CC and will involve club members erecting notice boards for different sections of the club to be able to post information about what is happening for all to see, putting up fencing around the memorial garden that was created as part of NatWest CricketForce 2006 and the small job of extending the scoreboard.

Part of the purpose of NatWest CricketForce is to attract funding to support the work of the club. This year's attempt by the Pool Pumas involves the girls playing three cricket matches and a football match for which they will be sponsored.

The first match will be in Dublin, the second in Amsterdam and the third in Finland as they take women's cricket around the globe before returning to Pool for the football match.

Sarah Pickford, YWCA Vice Chair said: "This is an amazing achievement by Pool and the money will help to make a huge impact on women and girls' cricket at Pool, allowing the club to grow and thrive, but will also make the club somewhere that other teams want to visit and play at because of the improved facilities.

"We hope that Pool will continue to share their experiences with other clubs across the county and encourage them to follow their lead.

"Pool CC is one example of how taking the time to encourage women and girls to get involved in the game can have a wide ranging and positive impact on a cricket club and we would strongly encourage all clubs to consider how they could do the same."