Swaffham Cricket Club’s grant boost

Swaffham Cricket Club has received a grant award of �25,000 from the England and Wales Cricket Board in partnership with Sport England for a two bay synthetic practice area. The total project cost was almost �29,000.

The club was recognised by the ECB and by the Norfolk Cricket Board because of their strong junior development programme and this new facility will give a boost to their coaching programme.

Swaffham CC project manager Emma Hardy said: “Because of the growth in our junior section we urgently needed to up-grade our practice facilities and we were all delighted when we were awarded the grant. We have over 70 junior cricketers at the Club – boys and girls – and this high class new practice facility will enable us to develop a much more structured coaching programme.

“We have eight qualified ECB coaches – including three women coaches – and the new facilities provide the ideal practice pitches for the development of young players and all age groups will benefit.

“The Club also provides coaching in seven local schools through the ‘Chance to Shine’ programme and we are confident we will increase participation in the playing of the game and we are especially keen to increase the number of girls playing cricket.

“In recent years the Club has made good progress as we have achieved ECB Clubmark and Focus Club status and we are extremely grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board and Sport England for their most generous grant. As a community club we regard the grant as an investment in cricket at the Club for the future and for the benefit of the local community in the long term.”

ECB National Funding and Facilities Manager, Bruce Cruse, said “The England and Wales Cricket Board is pleased to invest in this project and to give a boost to grass roots facility development and support the growth of junior cricket and women’s and girls’ cricket in particular.

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“It has been planned to put new impetus into the playing future of the local community and I am confident that as the investment matures cricket locally will go from strength to strength.”

Sport England’s Director of Property, Charles Johnston, said: “The improved practice and coaching facilities at Swaffham 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 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.”