Southwick Cricket Club’s junior section is going through a significant period of development. Just three years ago they had one junior team and they now have close to 100 children (boys and girls) between the ages of eight and thirteen registered and playing regularly. The change has made a significant difference to the village green and the Club has received many positive comments from the community, mostly saying how refreshing it is to see the South Green being used so regularly. One of the challenges for the Club is to keep the children engaged throughout the year and to give them the opportunity to train and compete with other clubs.
To help move forward the Club engaged with Shoreham Academy to use their facilities. They found that the academy has a similar challenge with no outdoor cricket net training facilities available at the school for use in classroom activities, after school clubs and to help towards qualifications. Southwick Cricket Club then decided to collaborate with Shoreham Academy to seek funding to build nets at the school. Having made funding applications, both parties were delighted to hear that with the support from local councillor Janet Mockridge, they had received £15,000 from the West Sussex County Council Big Society Fund.
Whilst £15,000 is a significant contribution, the cricket nets are very expensive and to progress the initiative the Cricket Club and Shoreham Academy will need to raise an additional £15,000 to complete the project. When Shoreham Port heard about the initiative from Club Secretary, Des O’Dell, they were only too happy to help.
Des commented “We were delighted to receive the generous donation from Shoreham Port. We have been trying to raise a significant amount of money to purchase outdoor cricket nets at Shoreham Academy. This is a big help and hopefully the start of a continuing partnership with the Port.”
Vice Chairman, Rupert Blake of Southwick Cricket Club added “There is a lot of community involvement in the Cricket Club and we are pleased to be working with Shoreham Academy and other schools in the local area. We are excited to be developing a partnership with the Port who are a significant employer in the area. Getting the nets means we can improve the standard of coaching for the children and raise the profile of the Club in the West Sussex League.”
Nicky Goldsbrough, Corporate Services Manager at Shoreham Port commented “Southwick Cricket Club and Shoreham Academy play an extremely important role in our community and the work they are doing to improve cricket facilities will benefit so many. I am very pleased that we are able to contribute to the project and hope that support from other businesses in the area will enable the project to be completed on time.”