Harrow St Mary's Cricket Club
Address: HSM Cricket Ground, Oak Tree Ct, Headstone Lane, Middlesex, HA2 6NF
Website: Click Here
E-mail: lesleybrown[email protected]
Our stated aim is to develop players for our senior teams and our colts are encouraged to play from the age of 13 if appropriate.
Many, from the age of 7 up to 15, represent Harrow Borough and Middlesex and they have a role model in Ravi Patel who came through our colts and is now a Middlesex player.
But it’s not just on the field that we develop them. Sometimes the club can be a refuge for them away from school and their neighbourhood so we want them to feel a part of the club and make new life long friends. When they join, families are told that they are members as much as anyone else so to get involved.
The season ahead building on the previous 6 years
2014 HSMCC sees a change of captaincy for its 1st X1 when Tom Pettet takes over from Dad, Gary.
Gary, also our Director of Cricket, has been instrumental in taking us from a club that for over 125 years played in a council park to being a club that people want to join.
Although our U13s became National Champions in 2006 (not a mean feat for a park side) we had been losing our better colts to more established clubs and our 1st X1 couldn’t get clarification from the Middx County Cricket League as to whether, if we won the Middx Championship, they would let us in the league if we played in a park. So we knew we had to look for another ground to make it difficult for them to refuse us! Knowing we were looking for a new ground, Middx put us in touch with Old Millhillians whose cricket team were moving away. We now had a ground ‘we could call our own.’
That was in 2009.
Later that year we were approached by the ECB to be one of their three National Showcase Clubs for their NatWest CricketForce event for the following year and that was the springboard for a phenomenal couple of years that saw our profile increase dramatically within the ECB and Middx, our 1st X1 and 3rd X1 promoted into the Middx County Cricket League and for our U15s to be crowned last summer as National Champions.
Now the mantle has been passed on to the next generation. New captain Tom, 23, has progressed through our colts system and made club history in 2013 when he hit 242 v. Shepherd’s Bush, claiming the club Performance of the Year Award and he hopes to consolidate our position in Division 2, us having gained promotion again in 2012.
Our aim this season is for our 2nd X1 to get promotion into the County League from the Middx Championship, having come runners up for the last two seasons.
Our 3rd X1 is now in Division 1 of the County League.
A 4th X1 introduced last season allows our developing colts the opportunity to play the extended format of the game along with some of our ‘seasoned’ players.
Our role within the community
HSM prides itself on being an open multi-ethnic club, made up from families from many countries (Ireland, America, England, India, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Tanzania to name but a few.)
We are a founder member of the Harrow Alliance, a group of Harrow clubs whose role is to manage Borough Cricket within the London Borough of Harrow. We’ve worked with the neighbourhood police to allow them free use of our ground to engage local youth; we host the Borough Schools U10s finals when all Harrow schools come along for softball cricket; we have links with local schools and this season we have started working with a local organisation, HIP Cricket (http://www.hipcricket.org.uk/) to further develop this link with the aim of giving a pathway for their pupils into club cricket playing softball cricket. They are going into schools on our behalf, something we’ve had difficulty doing in the past (apart from coaches going into their child’s school) as our coaches work full time.
The drive and ambition of the committee in growing/sustaining the club.
We wouldn’t have been considered to be a National Showcase club for Cricket Force if the ECB hadn’t thought that we could see it through and it’s thanks to our Management Committee and members who volunteer so many hours for our club that we now have a ground and facility that many in Middx envy. But it didn’t just happen. It takes time and commitment. We have one member who, over the years, has raised nearly £150K for the club sourcing grants and has been asked by Middx and other clubs to help other clubs with their applications.
Our next aim is to reconfigure our changing rooms (currently two massive rugby baths take centre stage!) and that will allow us to open our ground to women’s cricket and disability cricket.
Overseas Player’s View
In recent years we’ve developed a link with the Stan Gilchrist, Dad of Adam, the Australian player, and his Academy that sends over one young Australian every summer to develop their cricket. We also have a South African come from a link with the University of Western Cape and we have a player from India. We are in addition this season developing a link we began last season to give a youth player from India the opportunity to play in the UK.
Being so close as we are to London they get the chance to soak up the city’s atmosphere. And Lord’s is only a stone throw away!
Fund raising events
The social aspect of any club is vital. Our 13s and 15s train on Friday evenings and this is our time to get our overseas players on the barbie. Added to that, we aim to run monthly events throughout the season. Last year we introduced a “Thank the Coaches” evening when families treated our coaches to a ‘glass of lemonade’ for the time they have given to their child. We also give free use to a jazz club to use one of our rooms and last season they came and played at our 20/20 club match (and we got a grant for that as well!)
Club, Ground and Volunteers
Everyone at our club volunteers their time. No one is paid, not even our groundsman, who has to get up at 5.30 to do his proper job before starting work on the ground in the afternoon.
We have many ways to thanks our volunteers.
- get a mention in our weekly email newsletter
- get nominated to receive an ECB OSCA award
- get nominated for the London Sports Award
- get nominated to receive a Jack Petchey Foundation Leader Award http://www.jackpetcheyfoundation.org.uk/
One will also receive our ‘Clubman of the Year Award’ at our Annual Presentation evening that is attended by all of our members from our 5 year olds to our senior adults.
We also recognise the contribution that our young members make and work with the Jack Petchey Foundation to acknowledge their achievements by awarding one of them a monthly £200 to spend on equipment or with their squad (going out for pizza, paintballing etc.)
We have a designated Facebook page for our members and Twitter is used to give match updates and news and our Secretary emails out weekly newsletters to our members letting them know what’s going on.
This season the Middx Colts Association has teamed up with the app CricHQ through which we will not only be able to submit match reports but also score live (as long as someone volunteers to do it of course!).