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6 Months On – Heywood CC Continue to Feel the Benefits

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Bumble, Cross & Gatting painting sight screens at Heywood CC Bumble, Cross & Gatting painting sight screens at Heywood CC

Over six months on from hosting the NatWest CricketForce Showcase event Heywood Cricket Club are continuing to feel the benefit of the initiative.

NatWest CricketForce is an England and Wales Cricket Board volunteering initiative aimed at rejuvenating cricket facilities throughout England and Wales. The initiative encourages cricket supporters, their friends and families to give back to their local cricket club by volunteering to undertake renovation work in club houses and grounds, typically over a specific weekend before the season starts.

Heywood ran a very successful NatWest CricketForce event before the 2012 cricket season started and they continue to reap the benefits six months down the line. The club are about to install a new kitchen, new carpets throughout and replace all of the ceiling tiles in the main lounge at their club house. All the materials for these jobs have been donated as part of NatWest CricketForce 2012. Even the poor summer, which affected the cricket like all clubs up and down the country, hasn’t dampened bar takings with draft accounts showing an increase by over 30% on the previous year.

On the field the club had a great season, with the 1st XI just missing out on the title in The Lake Garage Central Lancashire League and the 2nd XI having their best season for over 15 years reaching the Burton Cup Final and finishing 3rd in the league.

In terms of junior cricket the club was able to introduce an Under 9's side for the first time and junior membership increased by over 25% on the previous year.

Bobby Cross from Heywood CC said: “This can be put down to several factors, the increased membership, the ‘feel good factor’ around the club and the success of the teams. Undoubtedly the biggest factor however is the improvements to the facilities that were undertaken as part of the event. The new ladies toilets have made a huge difference to the feedback we receive after a function and the general improvements to the function room have made it a warmer and more attractive place to stage events.

“The people that became involved in CricketForce have stayed involved and the club committee feels much more comfortable in the knowledge that there are people out there willing to help if asked.

“It was definitely not an initiative that the club entered into lightly and it took a tremendous amount of work by a large number of people to make it happen, but the results speak for themselves. We would do nothing but endorse the initiative and the help and support that comes from ECB and the official supporters.”

NatWest CricketForce 2013 will take place on the 5th, 6th and 7th April 2013. For further information about NatWest CricketForce visit: NatWest CricketForce 2013.

Registration for clubs is now open and you can register your club to take part at: NatWest CricketForce 2013 Club Registration.

Watch a video of Heywood's NatWest CricketForce weekend.

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