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Raising the club's profile

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2009

Ipswich CC Aerial Shot

Ipswich CC seen from the air

October 2008: Well, there we were thinking about Christmas coming along in a just a few months. Where were those dusty decorations? All moaning about how busy we would be, the awful commercialism of Christmas etc etc. Then in the distance, a man came striding out with briefcase in hand, getting closer and closer to our small but perfectly formed pavilion.

Who was it? God, the man from the Council had finally caught up with us! We opened the door and in came this smart looking chap, who smiled at us all. “Good evening,” he said, “I'm Dave Leighton from the ECB” or as we now know, our own Father Christmas!

He explained what a fantastic journey we could go on with him, we could expect some gifts under our “Christmas Tree” this year but only if we promised to be good and work hard. One of the girls, (over 50 - so could be an incredibly 'grumpy old woman') took to task this Dave Leighton, 'when did the elves arrive to give us the once over?'

Are you really Father Christmas and can you possibly do all you say? A smile came over Dave Leighton's face, (I am sure he was thinking - 'yes I have met non-believers like you before')... "Don't worry" he said, "I've never let anyone down yet."

We now know that this was the start of Ipswich Cricket Club's journey with the ECB and NatWest CricketForce 2009.

November 08: I was elected chairman of the sub-committee and I gathered together my lot, who I knew would work very hard to pull this off. We had our first meeting at my house, lots of tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits, all moaning about how fattening they were, but devoured them nevertheless.

We discussed and chatted and mulled over thoughts and ideas. We got excited as to how many people we could get to attend our presentation evening on 15th Jan 09. Then we got scared as to how many people wouldn't turn up. It was getting close to Christmas, if we send out letters, they will get mislaid in the mountain of cards and credit card bills won't they? It will be like always, just the good old reliable few turning up. Oh God what have we taken on? We all had a large pre-Christmas drink.

15.1.09 The Holiday Inn at Ipswich where we were holding the presentation evening, donated one of their conference rooms for free. Is this what Dave was talking about? Letters, texts, emails had been sent, some more than once, and so it came to the 15th Jan.

I along with some of the committee met with Dave early in the evening and we shared a quick bite to eat, along with his team. Our club photographer, Greg Kingston, had put together a fantastic three-minute DVD of what our club was all about and what we hoped for the future. So with us all in place we waited for everyone to arrive. The presentation was due to start at 7pm.

6.40pm - only a few people had turned up, you know, the usual crew. Oh God, no-one is coming! I knew it! The press arrived, could they have a picture, so we hastily got into our “gear” and had our photo taken. Then suddenly more and more people arrived. I had to ask for more chairs and by the start of the meeting we had 106 people. What a result and boy was I relieved and at last I could smile!

Linda Norton
Chair/sub committee

Clare, a fearless player from our ladies team will now take on blog writing – brilliant!

Thanks Linda – what an introduction!! I can’t speak for the other 105 people who attended our evening with Dave Leighton and his team but from my perspective I was totally inspired and my eyes were opened to the possibilities this could mean for our club, and for us, now and in the future, oh what a night!! (please no singing!!)

I have enlisted my Mum, Dad, Hubby and kids who will be helping out during the CricketForce weekend and if you have all enlisted family and friends we will get this year off to a flying start. So thanks Dave you have given us the incentive, and we have the desire to meet our goals, 2009 is going to be our year!!

During the meeting I volunteered as the writer of our blogs – so cool!! So please ensure I have all your stories, good, bad, ugly, funny or just informative during the year and especially before, during and after CricketForce. We need to keep up with the gossip, and discussions – I believe blogs are open to everyone to respond so let the games begin!!

The ladies have kicked their season off with a meal out at Pizza Express, with three honorary ladies attending (Adam, Kester, and Riki) and we all had a great time – well there was plenty of laughing and someone got their pants out..........no names please!! Rules re the weekend away also apply to meals. We chatted about the CricketForce weekend and agreed this was a huge opportunity for Ipswich CC. The girls are committed to work hard to help get projects done and not just in the kitchen!

I hope as many of you as possible will support your committee, who are pulling the whole thing together. An enormous amount of work is going into this and we want to take every opportunity in leaving a legacy for our future generations of cricketers.

From the meeting on 15th Jan, we had a scoreboard donated from Cristian Durant, Specialist Cricket Equipment, absolutely amazing. Junior parents were talking after the meeting about what they could do, both in person, obtaining goods at a reduced rate and possible cash donations. All were pleased at how the meeting had gone! Within a week, emails and phone calls were coming thick and fast. We had a very good press article a few days later. Fantastic!

Mid Jan – after presentation eve: Another meeting of the sub-committee came and went. More chocolate biscuits eaten. Projects were streamlined and discussions took place on how to obtain products and items from various sources. - lots of ideas about which companies we should target. Our Chance to shine schools to be contacted.

Late Jan: Yet another meeting. More letters to go out to companies and media. More phone calls to be made. Project leaders discussed further and volunteers to be approached. More chocolate biscuits eaten – there will be a national shortage soon!

Chairman's thoughts: God how quickly CricketForce weekend seems to be looming. Will we do it? I am waking up at 3am – do we need hard hats? Do we need more first aid boxes? Will someone get stuck in a portaloo? Will small children fall into large holes that are opening up all over the ground? Then it dawns on me, I am not awake, I'm having a nightmare.

CricketForce is raising the profile of Ipswich CC – we need to step up to the mark and make the weekend of 4th and 5th a huge success.

9th Feb: Another planned meeting. Food and drink discussed – still targeting various supermarkets and outlets. What happens if it rains? God don't even think about it! Still contingency plans need to be made. More coffee and chocolate biscuits eaten. National shortage now of cocoa beans.

Committee have had a site visit to the ground on a very cold and windy Sunday morning, to discuss where the fantastic new scoreboard needs to go. Lots of views but in the end, hopefully, everyone is happy to about the positioning of the board.

Chance to shine schools now to be spoken to as a follow-up from an earlier meeting. We hope the local T.A. Cadets will also come along and help with general tasks over the weekend.

Phew, after a four-hour meeting, we hope that a vast amount of planning is now more concrete. Next meeting planned in 14 days.