The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is pleased to announce that Old Actonians Cricket Club has been awarded a grant from the England and Wales Cricket Board in partnership with Sport England.
The investment supports Sport England’s and the ECB’s national strategy 2009 - 2013 which aims to grow the number of people playing sport, sustain participation by encouraging more people to keep playing sport, and help talented sports people excel.
Old Actonians Cricket Club was identified by the Middlesex Cricket Board and by the ECB as a Club of strategic and developmental importance due to their ability to contribute to the ECB’s goal to develop cricket through encouraging people and partnerships to deliver national goals at a local level, and to inspire people to play cricket.
The Club has been awarded a grant of £30,000 towards the cost of a six bay synthetic practice area. The total project cost was approximately £43,500 and the Club also received a grant award from the Middlesex Centenary Trust (£5,000) and the Club’s Members and Supporters raised over £7,000 through fund raising.
Club Committee member, John Walker, said “We were delighted and excited when we received the grant award as we urgently needed to up-grade our coaching and practice facilities. The new synthetic practice pitches are high quality and in accordance with ECB specifications.”
“We have four senior Saturday league teams and a Sunday friendly XI and also a Women’s league team. In addition, we have over 150 junior cricketers including a thriving girls’ section. The new coaching facilities are excellent and we will now be able to have an improved structured coaching programme through our qualified ECB coaches and all age groups will benefit. Importantly, the synthetic pitches will provide good safe playing surfaces which will be ideal for the development of young cricketers.”
Carlene Bender, the Chair of the Women’s Section, said “The Club has achieved ECB Clubmark and Focus Club status and this enabled us to make the grant applications to ECB. The fact that the Club has such a strong junior section and a thriving Women’s and Girls’ section was an important factor in the grant award. This year, apart from the Women’s team we will also have over 30 girls and we aim to field three girls’ teams this summer and we also aim to build on this foundation for the future.”
“We are pleased that ECB has recognised the work we do at junior level and in the general development of the game and we are extremely grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board and Sport England for the most generous grant. We also express our gratitude to the Middlesex Centenary Trust and to our Club members for their fund raising efforts.”
“We regard the grants as an investment in cricket at the Club for the future and also for the benefit of the local community.”
Sue Redfern, the National Development Lead for Women’s and Girls’ Cricket said: “We are delighted that the Old Actionians Cricket Club have confirmed their commitment to the further development of Girls’ and Women’s cricket. The partnership between ECB, Sport England, the Middlesex Cricket Board and the Club has created a project which has real potential to make an impact on Women’s and Girls’ cricket in Middlesex and wider afield. This new facility will provide the opportunity for women and girls to develop their skills and they will also have purposeful match play opportunities.”
The Club will have an Official Opening of the facilities on Saturday 21st April at 1.00 pm when Club members and visitors will be welcome to attend.
Sport England’s Director of Property, Charles Johnson, said: “The improved practice and coaching facilities at Old Actonians Cricket Club will be welcomed by both experienced players looking to improve their game and by people who are new to cricket. We are confident that the ECB’s strategic approach to investing in high-quality, sustainable facilities will help cricket to attract and retain many new participants and create more opportunities to develop sporting talent.”
The £18 million of capital investment which has been awarded to cricket will be distributed to strategically identified applicants who can evidence their contribution to the games outcomes to grow and sustain current levels of participation, improve people’s experience of cricket and improve the quality and opportunity to develop talent.
Projects eligible during this period include fine turf provision, non turf provision, land purchase for cricketing purposes, indoor provision for cricketing purposes and communal changing facilities.
Bruce Cruse, the ECB’s National Funding and Facilities Manager said: “The ECB is pleased to support this worthy project and to give a boost to the development of the game for all age groups and Women’s and Girls’ cricket in particular. I am confident as the investment matures cricket locally will go from strength to strength and will benefit the community generally.”