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Don't forget your paint brush

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2011

It’s only a short run-up to Saturday - the big day when Bognor Regis Cricket Club puts itself into the hands of NatWest CricketForce volunteers, and it looks like it’s going to be a huge success.

Run in partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board, NatWest CricketForce is the sport’s biggest annual volunteering initiative – we’re expecting at least 250 volunteers on the day and when news gets round about the cricket celebrities who are coming along too, we might need a bigger ground.

We’re not just talking about a nip and tuck here - this facelift for BRCC will cover major renovations including converting an old changing area, installing accessible toilets, constructing an access path and ramp, building a double garage, installing an electronic scoreboard, laying a non-turf pitch, planting trees and conservation work as well as plenty of painting.

The estimated cost of the volunteer work, if paid for, would be £65,000, which represents a huge injection of funds for cricket in the Bognor area.

So far, we have almost £12k pledged in donations and grants and nearly £20k of donations in kind, good and labour with even more expected to come in by Saturday. This is a fantastic response from our supporters so a big thanks to you all so far.

Now, the major news that we’ve been itching to announce is that coming along to support BRCC on the day will be England cricketers Chris Tremlett and Holly Colvin together with ECB Head of Women’s Cricket Clare Connor OBE and ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships Mike Gatting OBE. If that’s not enough to persuade cricket fans to pick up a paint brush I don’t know what is.

We’ve also got our own local stars coming along too: Bognor Regis Mayor Cllr Sandra Daniells will be joining in with our attempt to break the NatWest CricketForce record of painting over 100 fence panels in under 40 minutes. This highlight starts at 1pm so the more volunteers we have with a paint brush in their hands when the clocks starts the more likely we are to smash it.

It’s not going to be all work and no play though. For young cricket fans keen to test their skills the ECB is bringing its fantastic Cricket Factory and NatWest is bringing its Extreme Catching and Pro Bowling to the event.

Overseen by ECB coaches, young participants - and older ones too - will be able to take part in a variety of cricket activities and challenge all the key basic skills including batting, bowling, throwing and catching. There will also be an inflatable to bounce on, supplied by Inspire Leisure – but sorry folks, that is just for kids.

Knowing an army marches on its stomach we will also be providing sustenance throughout the day for all volunteers. Breakfast at 10am will be baps, kindly supplied by Bognor Regis supermarket Morrisons, filled with either sausages or bacon. Volunteers will also be able to grab lunch and at the end of the day there will be more culinary rewards for all the hard work achieved.

Whatever your skills, your help on the day is very welcome. Anyone who would like to take part in the event should come along to Bognor Regis Cricket Ground, Hawthorn Road. Registration and breakfast starts at 10am. Don’t forget your paint brush.