Penzance CC's Investment Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

Head Groundsman, Jamie Stevens, working on Penzance's St Clare pitch.
Head Groundsman, Jamie Stevens, working on Penzance's St Clare pitch.
©Penzance CC

Despite participation numbers taking a dive in recent years [1] and a historic lack of professional opportunity in Cornwall, there is a beacon of light in the form of seaside town club, Penzance.

A club that has so far invested over £30,000 in wider Cornish cricket as part of a bold vision to help grow the sport beyond the boundaries of its own playing field.

Since the inception of the ‘10 Year Vision’ in 2015 - the brainchild of serial entrepreneur [2] and now chairman, Neil Tregarthen, and former Essex and Derbyshire professional, Greg Smith [3] - there has been a quiet revolution going on at Penzance Cricket Club, which has encompassed success on and off the field of play, including two quarter final appearances in the National T20 competition and replacement of most of the club infrastructure.

And yet during this time, the club has also focused on supporting the wider Cornish cricket community, via donations, equipment, sponsorship, celebrity appearances, young cricketer tour subsidies and lots more.

The latest initiative is financial support for the Pitch Rejuvenation Programme that was launched in 2018 by the Cornwall Cricket Board, and which the club has agreed to donate to again in 2019.

Commenting Tregarthen said: “if you relate the reinvigoration of cricket to business strategy, then there are a range of key success factors, of which number one for improving the quality of cricket, is the delivery of good playing surfaces. Our first step at Penzance was to recruit a full time groundsman and having won awards for the results, we are now keen to help other clubs, even if some of them are our competitors.”
CEO of Cornwall Cricket, Simon Menneer said: “we are extremely grateful to Penzance for match funding the investment the Board has made to the Pitch Rejuvenation Programme. Their own ground is a credit to Cornish cricket and our intention is to support all clubs who wish to improve their playing surfaces, both through additional funding and pitch advisor expertise. After the first year of the initiative we have already seen quantifiable improvements, so we know that the project works.”

Continuing to demonstrate an aptitude for innovation and an ambitious vision for Cornish cricket, Tregarthen and Smith do not intend on halting their quest to stimulate participation and nurture talent any time soon; as Tregarthen explained what 2019 and beyond has in store:

“it is crucial that all amateur cricket clubs support the top down ECB strategy of inspiring generations and having young boys and girls believing that cricket is a game for them. That requires successful clubs to support those less fortunate and drive that strategy from the bottom up and the pitch renovation support is a perfect example of that approach.”

© Cricket World 2019

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