Ashes winner Steven Finn and England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards will swap bats for paint brushes and playing shirts for overalls when they launch NatWest CricketForce 2011 at Witham Cricket Club in Essex on Friday 8th April.
The pair will be joined by thousands of volunteers at clubs across the country over the three-day long campaign as they lend a hand with pre-season preparations and club refurbishments.
Chris Tremlett, ECB Head of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor and England spinner Holly Colvin will be wielding a paint brush alongside Mike Gatting at Bognor Regis CC, Sussex, on Saturday 9th April.
The weekend will culminate on Sunday 10th April at Sawley and Long Eaton Park CC in Derbyshire where Ajmal Shahzad and ex England Captain Michael Vaughan will be joined by England women’s vice captain Jenny Gunn and pace bowler Katherine Brunt.
This tenth anniversary year will see a record number of over 1,850 clubs take part in the annual volunteering initiative in which cricket clubs enlist the help of the local community as they prepare facilities and grounds for the forthcoming season.
Steven Finn said: “NatWest CricketForce is a fantastic example of how communities and cricket clubs can work together to achieve remarkable results. As an international cricketer this weekend is a great opportunity to get involved in the game at grass-roots level, and see how NatWest CricketForce helps clubs provide facilities for the next generation of cricketers.”
England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards said: “I’ll be helping out at NatWest CricketForce this year and so should everyone. It’s so important to support your local cricket club so the game continues to grow and there are quality facilities for everyone to enjoy.”
ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships, Mike Gatting said: “I have seen fantastic things achieved by clubs through NatWest CricketForce over the years. It still amazes me the projects that can be completed when the community gets behind their local club.
"Over the last ten years we have seen new pavilions built, pitches laid, nets and sight screens repaired and many litres of paint put to good use, long may it continue.
“NatWest CricketForce is a solid example of how ECB, NatWest and the club community successfully work together for the good of the game. I encourage everyone to go along to their local club this NatWest CricketForce weekend and lend a hand; there is a job for everyone.”
NatWest CricketForce Events:
Please note all events will run from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm.
Friday 8th April
England cricketers Steven Finn, Charlotte Edwards and Laura Marsh together with ECB Chief Executive David Collier and ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships Mike Gatting will attend Witham Cricket Club in Essex
Saturday 9th April
England cricketers Chris Tremlett and Holly Colvin together with ECB Head of Women’s Cricket Clare Connor and ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships Mike Gatting will attend Bognor Regis Cricket Club in Sussex
Sunday 10th April, 2011
Ex England captain Michael Vaughan and England players, Ajmal Shahzad, Jenny Gunn and Katherine Brunt together with ECB Deputy Chairman Dennis Amiss and ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships Mike Gatting will attend Sawley and Long Eaton Park Cricket Club in Derbyshire
Background information on the NatWest CricketForce Showcase clubs
Witham Cricket Club
Refurbishment of the clubhouse and improvement to ground access. Work closely with the Hockey Club who share the site.
Bognor Regis CC
Pavilion conversion and improvements to access facilities to the site.
Sawley and Long Eaton Park CC
A major pavilion refurbishment on the site in a public park. The development is with local council support and will involve a number of partners including Derby College (Construction), the Local Authority (land owners), The FA (football is played on the same site).
A full programme of NatWest CricketForce events is taking place nationwide over the weekend of April 8th-10th. For more information on NatWest CricketForce go to www.ecb.co.uk\natwestcricketforce
NatWest CricketForce is a join initiative between ECB and NatWest which encourages cricket clubs to target their local communities for help with renovation projects and ground improvements.
Participation in NatWest CricketForce has rocketed since its launch in 2002, when just one showcase club took part. NatWest CricketForce grew for the eighth consecutive year in 2010 as a record 1642 clubs took part. In addition, thousands of volunteers including over 800 NatWest staff, county and England players helped out at their local clubs over the weekend.