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Plan well and stick to it

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2010

It all began as most other clubs on a winter's evening, sat in a cold clubhouse holding a committee meeting.

We must get some proper heating for this place suggested one wise guy. I suppose he was the one who voiced what others were thinking.

A little later we got to Any Other Business and I suggested we try this NatWest CricketForce thing, not that I knew a lot about it but my Dad had mentioned it before.

So we set off on the CricketForce journey, finding out more information and registering in the process. Now, ideas for what to tackle certainly started to flow over the next couple of meetings until we had our final meeting before the event.

Disaster. The mowers had broken down and we couldn’t afford to do CricketForce, so we started thinking of all the free things that we could do around the ground.

The Friday of CricketForce arrived, I had the day off and had Sam, my three year old, in tow as we set off for the ground, tools in car. We waited and one other person turned up - Jo our scorer - she is always dependable.

So with no money and no team of volunteers we decided to buy materials (funded by yours truly) and tackle our choice of jobs. By the end of the day we were really tired but we had achieved a surprising amount and Sam was covered head to toe in dirt, grime and woodchip pieces from the wallpaper we had stripped – what a sight.

A quick clean up before Mum got home did the trick and he was allowed back over the weekend.

Saturday saw more volunteers (couldn’t have been much worse) and we managed to paint the pavilion, sightscreens and had a general tidy up of the ground. All of this did take us all weekend but with less than ten volunteers a day we achieved a huge amount.

In the bar after Sunday’s work, plans of what we could do next year were getting bigger. What an effect a borrowed hundred pounds and a bit of hard graft had, we suddenly had a spirit of togetherness around the club.

Soon we started planning our second CricketForce, this time we had the more cash behind us. A new kitchen was a priority, changing the showers and the toilets too - we couldn’t do it all in a weekend so we focused on the kitchen.

The weekend arrived and we set to work in the kitchen taking out the old units and adjusting the plumbing, planning trades not the best skill of an accountant and we only managed to remove the kitchen.

To compound things a spur of the moment decision by volunteers meant we dismantled part of the bar and stripped its top.

Three weeks to the season we had no kitchen (and no running water as consequence), no bar and no time left in the weekend.

April was an extremely long month, we worked days and nights to fit a kitchen finish the bar for use. All that hard work and we still didn’t have running water in the kitchen for the first game, we could shower and flush the toilet, just. Lesson, plan well and stick to the plan.

Every good story has morale but I would like to finish this blog with words from Margaret Mead, that ring true for CricketForce and Etwall Cricket Club.

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Incidentally we still haven’t replaced the heaters.