Clubbing together to clean up

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Councillors, community champions and the local clergy all joined club members young and old at Willoughby Cricket Club on Saturday for their annual Natwest Cricketforce event.

Ahead of the new cricket season only a few weeks away, the club once again undertook a spring clean of the pavilion as well as a variety of smaller works and outdoor projects in and around the ground, with players, members and officials spanning an age range of seven to 77 all getting involved.

The club’s activities were also boosted by a visit from Alison Morgan, community life champion at Asda in Rugby who kindly attended to lend a hand. Local borough councillors Graham Francis and Robin Hazelton both called in, as did the Reverend Jane Close, village rector for Willoughby.

Now in its 13th year, Natwest Cricketforce is an England and Wales Cricket Board volunteering initiative aimed at rejuvenating the nation’s cricketing facilities. Cricket clubs encourage their members and the local community to get together to get ready for the season ahead.

Whilst the club’s adult members could be seen re-attaching sightscreens and outdoor nets, painting new fencing and putting some finishing touches to erecting posts, the club’s junior cricketers patrolled the outfield collecting leaves and branches. Inside the pavilion, everything from windows, floors, changing rooms and club’s social area were all cleaned and polished.

Event organiser Karl Quinney said: “It has been great to see so many faces from within the club and also our local community come along, get involved and help us get ready for the summer.

“As it has again showed today, sometimes it is not always about what happens on the cricket field that matters, so a huge thanks to everyone who came along and did their bit”.

As well as free Natwest Cricketforce t-shirts, a BBQ breakfast was provided for everyone and the tea was flowing courtesy of a kind donation from Yorkshire Tea.

In addition to the generous contributions from Asda Rugby and Yorkshire Tea, the club would like to extend their thanks to Tesco Rugby and Jamie Bainbridge, store manager at Wilkinsons in the Clock Towers Shopping Centre, for their additional kind support and donations.