Club nets grant for its facilities

PUBLISHED: 10:14 07 September 2007 | UPDATED: 21:48 29 May 2010

David Ellis, centre, with Sawston cricketers Steven Evans, Tom Champness, Matthew Ellis and Ben Benson. Picture: DICK HARDING

David Ellis, centre, with Sawston cricketers Steven Evans, Tom Champness, Matthew Ellis and Ben Benson. Picture: DICK HARDING

CRICKET in Sawston has been given a major boost thanks to a £35,000 grant from the government. The substantial handout comes from the Government s Community Club Development Programme (CCDP), a scheme that has designated £9.4million to the England and Wal

CRICKET in Sawston has been given a major boost thanks to a £35,000 grant from the government.

The substantial handout comes from the Government's Community Club Development Programme (CCDP), a scheme that has designated £9.4million to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to upgrade cricket facilities.

David Ellis, chairman of Sawston Cricket Club, said: "We were delighted when we were awarded the grant because our priority need was to develop quality practice facilities.

"We have more than 80 junior cricketers and these excellent practice facilities provide good safe playing surfaces which are so important in the developments of young players.

"We also have close contact with Sawston Village College and other local schools and by replacing the ageing outdoor practice nets it has enabled us to increase participation and emphasises our role as a genuine community club.

"In view of the wet summer the all-weather pitches have been a real bonus because all age groups have been able to have net practice and coaching."

The CCDP, established in 2004 and managed by Sport England, allocated £9.4million each over a three-year period to cricket, tennis, football and rugby clubs in the country.

Jennie Price, Sport England chief executive, said: "The CCDP is an innovative way of helping to ensure that community clubs - the heart of grassroots sports development in the country - receive the capital investment they need.

"We are delighted to make this award to Sawston Cricket Club. The facility is key to the local development of cricket."

The ECB, which distributed the money to 200 cricket clubs across the country, principally aimed to increase accessibility of cricket to wider sections of the community when designating grants, particularly younger players.

Projects eligible for the grants fell into three categories: the upgrade of grass pitches, outfields and grass net facilities; the installation of artificial pitches and net facilities; and improvements to changing rooms and shower facilities.

Mr Ellis said that the grant would make a big difference to the club. He said: "We are extremely grateful to the ECB for their most generous support as we could not afford these new facilities from our own resources.

"We regard the grant as an investment in the cricket at the club for the future."

Anyone interested in joining the club should call Dave Ellis on 01223 833813.

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