CRICKET: Spring clean at Willoughby

Pre-season spring-clean at Willoughby Cricket Club earlier this month, ready for the new season
Pre-season spring-clean at Willoughby Cricket Club earlier this month, ready for the new season

Wild weather no obstacle as Willoughby CC does Cricketforce

Wind and rain could not deter the efforts of club members young and old at Willoughby Cricket Club on Saturday at their annual Natwest Cricketforce event.

With the new cricket season only a matter of weeks away, players, members and officials spanning an age range of 4 to 78 all got involved as 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.

Now in its 14th 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 their facilities ready for the season ahead and to give something back by volunteering to undertake major renovations to clubhouses and grounds. Willoughby Cricket Club was one of 2,278 clubs around the country who took part in the now-annual event, continuing its involvement since the initiative first started.

Whilst the club’s adult members could be seen cleaning sightscreens, tidying the outdoor nets and felling a tree to make way for the club’s new electronic scoreboard, the club’s junior cricketers patrolled the outfield collecting leaves and branches. Inside the Pavilion, everything from windows, floors, changing rooms and the club’s social area were all dusted down, cleaned and polished.

Event Organiser, Karl Quinney, said: “Despite the unpredictable weather, Natwest Cricketforce at Willoughby has once again been a great success.

“It has been great to see so many from within the club and also our local community come along, get involved and help us get ready for the new season.

“As we have seen in previous years, events like this are a great way to bring all our players and members together and it reflects what a great sense of club spirit exists here when everyone pitches in. So a huge thank you 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 plenty of tea was flowing courtesy of a very sizeable kind donation from Yorkshire Tea.

The club also used the event as a Registration Morning for both adult and junior cricketers interested in playing at the club for the coming summer, which also proved very successful with several new members signing up.

In addition to the generous contributions from Yorkshire Tea, the club would like to extend their thanks to Alison Morgan at Asda in Rugby, Michele and the team at Tesco Daventry and Jamie Bainbridge, Store Manager at Wilkinsons in the Clock Towers Shopping Centre in Rugby for their additional kind support and donations.

* With the ground and pavilion now all ready for the summer ahead, the final preparations for Willoughby Cricket Club’s 2015 season takes shape after Easter with an outdoor training afternoon on Saturday, 11th April for both the mens and junior sections – Juniors 1.00 to 2.30pm, men’s/seniors 2.00pm to 4.30pm.

For more information on joining Willoughby CC for the 2015 season – at men’s/senior level through to junior cricket covering under 15, 13, 11 age groups and Kwik Cricket, contact Karl on 07775 883102, email karl@karlquinney.co.uk or visit the club website at www.willoughbycc.org.uk