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A big success

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2008

Well, NatWest CricketForce is over for another year and what a success it has been; there are so many positives to mention that they probably won’t fit into this blog, but here goes!

For starters we had 1375 clubs registered which is an improvement of 225 on last year; there was an estimated 85,000 volunteers involved with over £35 million worth of investment into cricket.

These figures are fantastic and we hope they improve like this year on year and that clubs continue to be involved in NatWest CricketForce and continue to make improvements to their cricket club.

The projects being undertaken by registered clubs are getting better and better every year with more quality outcomes. This was highlighted this year by our Showcase Clubs: Hertford CC, Lisvane CC, Hambledon CC, Farsley CC and St James' Montefiore CC.

The projects of these clubs included the renovation of a derelict cricket ground, the restoration of a fire damaged pavilion, the development of a second cricket ground, and the installation of a new roof onto a pavilion. It wasn’t just the Showcase Clubs though that excelled with their projects, we received lots of stories and photos from clubs up and down England and Wales and the great projects that have been undertaken.

What have been really great are the stories and pictures from those clubs who had to deal with the snow that weekend. We experienced it for ourselves at St James' Montefiore CC in Sussex as they dealt with over six inches of snow; but there were many other clubs too who had the same problem.

It was encouraging to hear of how most of them carried on regardless and got done what they could and arranged another NatWest CricketForce day to make up for the delays.

A massive bonus for us this year has been the increase of Official Supporters that have come on board with us to help out the registered clubs. This year we have had the additions of Poweroll, SISIS, Bowcom, Dulux Decorator Centres and Build Center (Wolseley UK).

We are trying to broaden the services that registered clubs can obtain from the Official Supporters; at the moment they can get discounts on a range of groundsman's machinery, decorating materials, flat sheet covers, portable and electronic scoreboards, building materials, and fencing and gates. We are already in conversation with more companies for them to add their support to NatWest CricketForce and we will make any announcements of new additions on this website!

As most of you have probably realised, our theme this year has been ‘Green’ which has been emphasised by the change in the colour of the NatWest CricketForce logo. Through NatWest CricketForce we have tried to nudge cricket cubs in the way of being environmentally friendly and energy saving not only to help the environment but also to help save money.

The more energy-saving a cricket club can be, the more money-saving they can be; reducing the thermostat a few degrees or using more energy-efficient light bulbs can go a long way!

To help push this scheme even more we have introduced the Go Green Club Fund, a fund which is exclusively for NatWest CricketForce registered clubs to help with ‘Green’ projects. Up to £10,000 can be awarded to a club that is undertaking any energy efficient projects – more details can be found here.

No sooner is NatWest CricketForce 2008 done with that we are now looking forward to NatWest CricketForce 2009. This will be launched on June 25 with registrations being open from then onwards for clubs to sign up.

Our thinking in opening up registrations earlier is to encourage clubs to sign up earlier and therefore start planning their events much earlier in order to gain the full benefits of the programmes. We will be putting information about this on the website very soon so keep an eye out.

Remember everyone FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL so get thinking about your NatWest CricketForce 2009 event NOW!!

The NatWest CricketForce helpdesk is open throughout the year so if you have any questions or need any advice please email us at natwestcricketforce@ecb.co.uk