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Hurley burly in Berkshire

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2010

Hurley Cricket Club is a true village club with its pitch owned by the local farmer, our past president, and leased to us at a peppercorn rent each year.

We have had successful years in the local leagues in the past but our most loyal players are now of an age when their own youngsters are playing cricket and we need to develop this talent for the future of the club.

We need publicity to reach potential players and we need our current players to become coaches and be involved in bringing on these young cricketers.

Our club captain approached the Berkshire Development Officer whose enthusiasm and encouragement helped us produce a development plan, become a focus club and work towards Clubmark status.

At his instigation we have become involved in the NatWest CricketForce event for the first time and are trying to get as many people as possible down to the club for the day to kick off the season with a work party.

Anyone who is willing to turn up and wield some gardening or other implement to tidy the place up will be welcomed with open arms and plenty of sustenance.

Now we do have a work party at the beginning of every season. Usually about ten people turn out, always the same ten people. We rake up a few leaves, mend a bit of equipment, sort out the bar, chase the mice out of the kitchen for the summer then have a cup of tea and go home. This year it’s different. There is a plan.

The club captain approached his mum (that’s me), who happens to be the regular tea lady and also tries to raise extra funds for the club, and asked me to produce a list of tasks that need to be undertaken on the day.

The list includes the usual leaf sweeping and sight screen washing but this year there are many more jobs. I circulated the list by email to all players and other contacts, together with an explanation of what NatWest Cricketforce is all about and how it will benefit the club, with a request to make contact and volunteer to do a task in exchange for a T-Shirt to commemorate the day and some free food and hot drinks.

There were a few positive responses – the ones you’d expect – so I became a bit pro-active and started to telephone people over a couple of weeks in the evenings (not when football was on the TV though) and this was much more productive.

Once a few people had committed to attending their friends started to react positively too and most of the jobs have been allocated. Thirty people have now agreed to be there. For a club with only 50 members last year this is excellent.

Not only that but NatWest CricketForce has been discussed at winter nets which will bring a few more down on the day and there will be a free coaching session for any youngsters who can come along, being organised by club members who are working towards their coaching qualifications so that means extra bodies to feed (along with some of their parents who will stay on to help out).

There is just a week to go before the actual NatWest Cricketforce day so I now need to check that we have enough tools for everyone on the day for the work to be completed as not everyone will have their own.

I must make a list of all the forks, spades, paintbrushes, paint etc that we shall need and purchase anything we do not have to hand, preferably from one of the companies which supports NatWest Cricketforce.

We have benefitted from Durant Cricket’s offer of netting at reduced prices for NatWest Cricketforce clubs and bought new netting for the fixed net at the club.

This will be put in place on the day and the old netting will be offered to the highest bidders with a suggestion for it to be used as pea/bean netting in the garden.

We have also received a dozen grab bags free of charge from BuildCenter, another NatWest Cricketforce supporter, so we can store all the leaves and other debris that we collect on the day and compost it all down for resale to members next year as a mulch for their gardens.

Lastly as the regular tea lady of the club I must ensure we have enough tea, coffee, milk and sugar on hand for the day. Hot food is planned too so Cash and Carry here I come for the sausages, bacon, potatoes, bread and maybe I’ll make a cauldron of chilli. Now let us pray for good weather.

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