Beaminster Cricket Club has smashed its ambitious £8,000 funding target to enhance facilities and support the development of the club’s rising academy stars thanks to big hearted supporters, team members and the committee.
The club launched the Crowdfunder to plug gaps in funding caused by the coronavirus restrictions which put a stop to the club’s lively programme of events for almost two years. And with match fees covering less than 10% of operating costs, revenue has been severely impacted by the pandemic.
With financial security in place, the club is now placing a huge focus on developing young players in its Cricket Academy. To help with this, funds will be spent on improving the training facilities including replacing the artificial wicket.
Chairman and youth co-ordinator Ross Baker said: “We ran a lively year-round events programme which was our largest revenue source. This included quiz evenings, cricket activity days, bingo, whist drive, music events, running a barbecue and bar at the town festivals. Most of these events had to be cancelled for the best part of two years.
“Although we were well supported with emergency grant funding to stop us folding during the pandemic, this was not a long-term strategy. This campaign will help us to regroup and rebuild as we emerge from Covid-19.”
Around 25 local businesses have backed the campaign, together with Michael Dooley, High Sheriff of Dorset and Advisor to the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Mr Dooley said: “It is a great pleasure to have been asked to support this campaign. From the youngest participants through to the oldest volunteers, sport at grassroots level can and should be part of the solution to bringing communities back together, helping to repair the damage this period has brought to our social fabric.
“Investment in grassroots sport is an investment in the future of the whole community. Through their youth development programme, the Beaminster Cricket Academy helps local young people channel their energies and interests and nurtures their ambition and aspirations, offering a starting point in discovering bright new sporting talent. I very much look forward to following the progress of all the young cricketers coming through the Academy for many years to come.”
The club has been an important part of the fabric of town life since it was established in 1855 and for the last 40 years, the club play at the Memorial Ground.
The club has two senior teams playing competitive cricket and is particularly passionate about the development of local, young players, with three teams competing in the Mid Wessex Leagues at U16, U12 and U10 level.
The All Stars and Dynamos Cricket Programme is held on Monday evenings during the season for players aged between five and 10. Ross Baker runs disability cricket sessions in the summer.
With a deadline of Wednesday, February 9, the club managed to stay ahead of the run-rate and achieved its £8,000 goal with a couple of overs to spare.
Beaminster Cricket Club is for everyone who wants to get involved and current members are aged from four to over 70.
For more information visit beaminstercc.co.uk