I’m back again as promised, with the aim of keeping you all updated and hopefully able to provide a little bit of cheer to you all with regards to developments around the club.
6 weeks into the year and it continues to be a frustrating time for all. Many of us have not seen our friends and loved ones for a considerable amount of time. As I write this, it is -6 degrees outside and there has been considerable snowfall. You wouldn’t think that the season is a mere 9 weeks away (hopefully). The first Saturday fixtures are scheduled to take place on Saturday 17th April with the 1st X1 playing host to Ryton and the 2nd X1 making the trip to Tynemouth for their opener. We don’t yet have the 3rd X1 fixtures, however they always start 2 weeks after our Saturday league begins. We do however know that there is now a four-division format, meaning that teams will now play home and away in divisions of 8, with our own team beginning life in division 3 for this new structure.
As vaccines are rolled out and lockdown continues, we do seem to be seeing a decrease in positive cases on a daily basis which hopefully bodes well for the future. Many of the most vulnerable have now been offered and taken up their initial vaccinations, and as much as we all have our opinions on the government handling of the pandemic, we have to be impressed with the speed at which vaccines are being rolled out.We wait with baited breath for the PM’s roadmap announcement on February 22nd, and hope that it can help us to know if the season is likely to begin on time, what social events we can begin to plan for and most importantly when we are able to see familiar faces again. We just hope it does not resemble that of an outdated Tom Tom picked up on the cheap from a Sunday morning car-boot sale.
Behind the scenes, I would like to thank my committee for the tasks they are undertaking to keep the club running. Our monthly bonus ball continues to be sold out, and our weekly 100 club - now run by Mark Roe is fully sold old and working well after it’s resumption. My special thanks to Mark for his efforts in sorting this out.
Stuart and his junior committee have been meeting behind the scenes and discussing how to take the junior section forward during 2021. Originally, we had hoped to hold some indoor training over the winter but that now seems to be altogether unlikely. They have attended an online seminar just this week which is full of positivity! The hope is that ECB All Stars registrations will soon be open and available, with the aim of starting this programme in May. This year the decision has been made to switch the sessions to a Friday evening instead of a Sunday morning to avoid a clash with other junior fixtures.
They have also made a commitment to running and Under 9 team (who we must thanks JT Dove for their sponsorship of) and TWO Under 11 teams (who we must thanks Rock & Roll Campers for their sponsorship of). These are big steps in the right direction for the future of our club, and Stuart is hopeful that over the course of this season and next, that we will be able to enter a girls team too.My thanks to Stuart, Mark Roe, Mark Dixon, John, Ste T and Ste G for their efforts in organising all of this.
As for preparing for the season, there is always much to do. Much to the chagrin of my committee, there have been some lengthy debates at our monthly meetings about what our aims and objectives are. These conversations are very healthy for our future and are well balanced by the various mindsets we have involved. As ever, we aim to be as ambitious as possible, but it requires the occasional moment of caution to stop us (me) from getting carried away and spreading ourselves too thin. Stephen Horn has done an excellent job with the paperwork side of the recruitment process for our professional - Azim Kazi, the only member of our club currently enjoying cricket as he currently prepares for his Vijay Hazare Trophy games back home in India. Thanks to Wilk for his spreadsheets (I appreciate them even if his family don’t) and Ron for keeping the books up to date.
There is always an endless list of tasks that need to be performed to keep the club up to date. We are delighted that we have been able to enlist the services of our sponsors and club members for these tasks. We have completed the replacement of the dated and worn-out lighting in the clubhouse bar thanks to Shorco Electrical, for whom club member Bob Graham Works.
Going forward we have enlisted the assistance of MB Driveways to construct a patio area, designed to be a beer garden ready for the start of the season, as well as tidying up around the existing practice net which was installed in 2020.
Fred Holliday will be doing some groundworks for us, which will enable us to have a second net alongside the current one, something that will be a huge asset at junior and senior training sessions alike.
The score box shutter will be removed and converted to a clear fronted affair, making life much easier for scorers and the box itself far less draughty. We will also be getting a dividing wall and door to separate the shower and changing area from the communal downstairs toilets, to avoid any unfortunate incidents arriving while the public use the facilities at times while players are changing and showering. These two tasks are being undertaken by one of our sponsors - SGS Construction.
My thanks to Stuart for his work in co-ordinating these projects and ordering the majority of the materials required.
There is also general tidying up of the club to be done, as well as a wish list of other things we would like to see. These are being monitored on a month-by-month basis, so that we can be assured of the amount of funds we can spend with confidence based upon current income and expenditure, so keep an eye out for further projects…
As for club funding, we have signed up to two fantastic initiatives which allow us to have the potential to gain rewards. Our utilities are to be sourced by Consett based Fusion For Business, an energy sourcing company who are keen to form community partnerships with sports clubs due to the sporting background of some of their employees. They have already penned a deal to save us money on our utilities and specialise in the business sector. If you do have a commercial premise and pay business rates, then get in touch with us for a referral and we can get one of their advisors to give you a call to see if they could save you money. In turn for referrals, we as a club would receive a referral fee as part of their community ambassador agreement. Its free of charge to get a quotation so don’t be afraid to recommend anyone you know who is in this position, or if it applies to you, drop us a line.
We have also signed up to the fantastic Easyfundraising scheme. Quite simply put, we can gain cash back from your online purchases. All you have to do is sign up to their website and any time you make online purchases with over 4,000 partnered companies, you select Consett Cricket Club as your cause and we receive whatever the current cash back offer is on your purchase at that time. We do ask that you spread the word for us on this one as it will again enable us to continue to make the club secure and keep us forward thinking with our ambitions. Please visit their website - https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/consettcricketclub/ and shop from there each time!
Quite a lengthy update this month, and I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoy trying to provide you with positive news to keep us going during lockdown. I hope to be able to bring even more positive updates in my March edition with regards season starting, bar opening and further progress to getting our lives back to some kind of ‘normal’.
In the meantime, I hope that you are all keeping well, that those home schooling aren’t on the verge of needing a liver transplant and that all the key workers among you are keeping safe. As ever, if you have any concerns or questions, my phone is on, my e-mails are read daily and a text can be answered as quick as is practicably possible and I hope to see all your faces again soon!