Returning for the 14th year, NatWest CricketForce hit Kent hard from the 27th of March!
We were extremely fortunate to play host to the National Showcase event with the ECB, which after an expression of interest and follow up process, landed at Tenterden Cricket Club.
During the initial meeting between Kent Cricket, ECB and Tenterden a mixture of 14 Committee, Social and Life members were found waiting in the rain on a grey December morning, ready to detail every last project that was on their wishlist whilst also showing their dedication to the cause.
Putting them through their paces, ensuring that the club had grasped the purpose of NWCF, ECB National Clubs Programmes Manager pushed and prodded every detail to ensure that the project had maximum impact. By the end of the meeting, the club had 5 flagship projects:
- Access path, enabling year round access
- Electronic scoreboard
- Redesigned bar area
- New fencing with built in advertising boards
- Extension of boundary
Being part of a small town, Tenterden also identfied that they needed to grow links with local schools, including the local secondary school, Homewood which boasts over 2,000 pupils. Linked to the work Kent Cricket do with Chance to Shine, 20 young people took the ECB Activators Course and attended the NWCF day with their teacher, former Kent Womens Player, Sarah Kennett.
Ian Price, Club Treasurer took on the project manager role for the NWCF day and brokered excellent deals with local suppliers as well as the national ECB sponsors. But as in his own words, 'this was nothing but a spring clean with knobs on' - which given the impact of the day, shows just how much some clear thinking and organisation skills can transform a club. Something as simple as a tarmac path now enables the club to operate social events and functions 12 months of the year, rather than only during the summer. Not only does it generate extra income for the club but it keeps members involved and helps unite the local community.
As ever volunteers continued to prove that they are driven by decent food and Tenterden didn't disappoint with their two bespoke BBQs running all day. Providing additional motivation was the presence of Mike Gatting, Charlotte Edwards and David Fulton. All three got stuck in throughout the day, with Fulton signing off the work on the levelling work completed on a former fenced area and Gatting sharing his past experience of building a flatpack mobile net cage! To get the real inside scoop, check out Lottie's own video report on the day...
Words can only give a small insight into the phenomenal atmosphere and impact of the day - but the following video from ECBTV gives you the full flavour.
Elsewhere in Kent, the ECB staff were on the look out for a staff team building day to tie in with their colleagues based at Tenterden. Which is where Mersham Sports Club, not too far from Tenterden were able to step in. Another Ian (Fagg) took charge of this project for Mersham and was able to co-ordinate 50 ECB staff and around 15 club members who managed to take the day off of work.
Photo Gallery (click to enlarge)
The job list at Mersham was extensive to say the lease, but highlights included:
- Tree surgery
- Refurbishment of patio area
- Interior and exterior repaint
Of the ECB staff, National Pitch Advisor, Chris Woods was in attendance and spent time chatting with project manager Ian Fagg who is also the club groundsmen.
Whilst both Tenterden and Mersham had additional support from the ECB, what they provided was largely facilitative or unskilled labour. Clubs in Kent are consistently strong at delivering excellent NWCF projects but we are always ready and willing to help clubs plan theirs.
If you've chosen to hold your NWCF event in April remember to tweet us your pictures to @kentcricketdev using #NWCF