Sport

£50k for Broadbridge Heath Cricket Club

Cricket –

Broadbridge Heath Cricket Club is celebrating a £50,000 boost.

The club will receive National Lottery funding to upgrade facilities, including enlarging and improving changing facilities, installing new showers and a hot water system, modernising the toilets and installing new drainage.

More than 1,000 sports projects across the country have received Lottery funding through Sports England’s Inspired Facilities Fund, part of a £150 million Olympics legacy programme known as Places People Play.

Every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire Mark, celebrating its link to the Games.

Tim Wells, chairman of Broadbridge Heath Cricket Club, said: “We are hugely delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can upgrade our facilities and reduce the environmental impact of our club by introducing a new, improved drainage system.

“This will be a major step in the continued development of the club, following on from the recent promotion of both men’s league cricket teams and increased partnerships with the village tennis and stoolball clubs plus local schools.

“It will also help us with opportunities that are going to arise from the major housing developments in the village.”

Cllr Viv Edwards, chairman of Broadbridge Heath Parish Council, said: “The parish council was delighted to hear about the award. It is a fitting tribute to the commitment of the committee, members and volunteers who work so hard on behalf of the club.

“We would also like to congratulate the league teams who have recently been promoted.

“The parish council is fully supportive of the club’s plans for future development, which will enable them to play an important part in the soon-to-be-increasing community of Broadbridge Heath.”

“Delighted” MP Francis Maude added: “The refurbishment and extension of the club’s facilities will be a real boost to members and visitors, and it’s great news for the whole community. I’m looking forward to seeing the end result.”

Richard Lewis, chairman of Sport England, said: “This National Lottery investment is helping us deliver a lasting sporting legacy in West Sussex from last year’s successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“With so many clubs in the South having benefited from this fund already and building on the success of last summer, this is the legacy people want for their local community.”

Meanwhile, the 2013 season heralds significant changes at Roffey, with the departure of captain Mike Norris and work colleague Chris Plaister to Ifield and Andy McGorian’s return to Australia.

But after doing the double over Horsham last year, Roffey are no pushovers and there remains an optimistic spirit at the club. Josh Fleming resumes as skipper, with wicketkeeper Aaron Jeal taking over as vice-captain.

Fleming is playing for Balina Bay in the heat of New South Wales, where he hopes to recruit an overseas player for the new season. Feelers are also out, exploring the possibility of a new signing or two.

Jeal told The District Post: “Noz (Norris) is a class act and any club would be glad to have him, but we’re a young, fit side with plenty of talent coming through, like the Rivers boys.

“The Premier League is always demanding and it will be a big season for us. I’ll be able to see the whole picture from behind the stumps and I’m looking forward to working with Josh to carry the club forward.”

Roffey president Peter Cheesman said: “Josh is a great thinker about the game and previously did a great job as captain, moving us towards promotion.

“We had a difficult time last year because of the rained-off games and this season will be a challenge, but we’ve shown great character before and just need to do that again.

“We’ve earned a reputation as a good fielding side and some of the younger players have already had useful Premier League experience. If they show a little more consistency, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t give a good account of ourselves again.”

Work on extending the dressing rooms to provide better facilities for girls and women cricketers is nearly completed, Roffey groundsman Jamie Morgan has been bolstering the drainage system, and nets have started at The Forest School and Handcross Park School.

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