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Seconds out...round two

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2010

Fed up of hearing that the ground wasn’t ready for the 2008 season, I persuaded my husband to take matters into his own hands and start the 2009 season off with NatWest CricketForce.

The aim being to try build camaraderie, have a bit of a laugh, tidy the ground and clean the toilets. This proved a worthwhile exercise although on a low level. The volunteers turned out, jobs got done and the ground looked fantastic for the start of the season.

Round two - 2010 is slightly different. Building on the success of last year's somewhat modest event, this is turning into a much grander affair. The planning and preparation has gone a lot longer. No more a one man band there is a committee to organise this year's event which will take place over two days.

Meetings have been held, apparently to identify the jobs which will need to be tackled ready for the start of the season. Some of these meetings seem to go on for as long as some the matches themselves and seem to include team bonding over alcoholic beverages.

I think this may be keeping the committee happy in their work and productivity is reaching a climax. Jobs have been organised, the troops are being rallied to give up their time and attend over the two days.

The cricketers are looking forward to seeing the beautiful ground at ‘The Deane’ in its full glory.

The winter nights seem to be fading rapidly into the distance and the focus is on the up and coming season. More than 40 volunteers have signed up to help over the two days and still growing. Sponsorship has been sought by numerous contacts and connections to help source materials required to complete the various tasks around the ground.

Not just content with this being an all male event, wives, partners, parents and girlfriends are all coming to help in whatever capacity they can and make the weekend a real success.

Now is this just a clever marketing campaign to gain interest from more club members?

The event is becoming a real focus for the start of the season. A hog roast and family evening will be held on the Saturday to thank the volunteers for giving up their time and give a real sense of community within the club.

All in all, this year's event is looks like it is set to triple last year's CricketForce if everything goes to plan. The committee seem to have planned the weekend down to the last paintbrush.

We are hoping for good weather to reward the hours of planning and preparation by the committee and all the volunteers to get this project off the ground and make it a real team effort, which is what ‘The Deane’ is all about.

And me…I feel as if I know exactly the rota and schedule for the weekend. There have been many telephone conversations within the house, each seem to becoming slightly more frenzied as the event draws closer.

I am sure we will all look back with immense satisfaction, over the long summer evenings, watching cricket, supping the beer and enjoying the family atmosphere.