Appleton Cricket Club chairman Antony Hurst insists their ECB Club Open Day events are the perfect chance to engage with the local community – something he believes is essential to the team’s future.
The ECB Club Open Days initiative, supported by Waitrose, is a nationwide programme that aims to help boost grassroots cricket participation by encouraging cricket clubs to open their pavilion doors and welcome guests from their local community for a day of cricket taster sessions and activities.
This summer more than a 1,000 cricket clubs will host a Club Open Day nationwide, with Appleton hosting events over the course of two days.
On Saturday July 2 Appleton will be holding a skills session and fun cricket-based activities for all ages alongside the Stockton Heath Festival on the field within Alexandra Park.
And the following day they will be hosting a family fun day and BBQ at the club’s Lyons Lane ground, with mixed team soft ball cricket games, cricket-based challenges and running races.
The event is open to members and non-members and it is free to join in the activities, with tickets for food and drinks available at £10 per adult, £5 per child or £25 per family of 2 adults and up to 3 children.
Hurst said: “Working alongside the Festival enables us to showcase the club to people in a convivial atmosphere and enables us to reach a larger number of people than by any other means. That helps us to attract new players of all ages to our club.
“The support of the local community is essential to the continued existence of clubs like ours. It’s the source of new players, new volunteers and our generous sponsors.”
Entering its third year, the ECB Club Open Day scheme has proved to be a successful initiative, with 900 clubs holding events in 2014 – a 300 per cent increase from 2013 – welcoming 116,820 guests, with 9,000 becoming new players, volunteers and social members.
Clubs taking part will enjoy £100 food and drink offer from Waitrose to help deliver their event.
Hurst added: “We’ll be hoping for good weather and there’s hardly a better place to be on a beautiful sunny, summer’s day.
“We normally attract around 100 participants and it’s great to see everyone enjoying cricket-based, fun activities, whether it’s someone taking part for the first time, an old-stager sharing their knowledge, experience and love for the game, or a spectator taking in the atmosphere.”
For more information about Club Open Days, supported by Waitrose, including a full list of clubs registered, visit ecb.co.uk/clubopendays