Harpenden’s frustration at no cricket eased by grant to help maintain club’s picturesque ground
PUBLISHED: 11:26 20 May 2020
Frustrations abound for most cricket clubs with the start of the season having come and gone without a single ball bowled in anger and Harpenden are no different – although they have been given a boost to make sure they are prepared when the sport does return.
Thanks to National Lottery funding, a grant of £4,200 has been awarded to them from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund towards on-going ground and pavilion maintenance.
This is work that still needs to be done even though the clubhouse remains closed with revenue streams all but dried up.
The Common-based club plan to use this money to maintain the pavilion as well as their three grounds.
Chairman Simon Wade said: “Like most clubs we rely on match and post-match activities to generate the income needed to provide our excellent facilities. While the club has taken actions to manage its way through these unprecedented times, we are extremely grateful to Sport England for providing this grant to help cover our costs to the end of May.”
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s chief executive, said: “As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future.
“We are proud to provide vital funding to Harpenden to help it through these challenging times.”
Club president Geoff Newman said: “Like all clubs we are living in a virtual world and missing the camaraderie that only team sports can provide.
“While we have no cricket activity we are maintaining our the grounds in the hope that some cricket will be played this season. We refurbished our clubhouse last year and the Sport England grant will help towards paying for maintenance of our grounds ready for the restart of cricket.”
That is something the at the club, who offer cricket for ages five to 75, running six adult sides and over 20 junior sides from U9 to U17, are desperately waiting for.
He said: “It’s fair to say that irrespective of age we are all extremely frustrated at not being able to play.
“But we have many WhatsApp groups and each one provides members with humour and activities. We had a 50th birthday party for one of our grumpy wicketkeepers where 50 of us surprised him with a Zoom party and a new pair of keeping gloves.
“Another favourite is find the tree. One of our members who is a professional photographer goes for an early morning walk and takes a picture of a tree. We then have to follow directions, find the tree then the best picture of the day is the winner, no prizes.”
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