A message from the chairman –Steve Calder Smith
It’s hard to believe we are at the beginning of June already, but my aching joints tell me that I have attempted once again to recall my youth, and run around a cricket field again. Well when I say run, I mean shuffle, but the intent is there and the competitor in me still wants to succeed.
Attached to the email you received is an electronic version of a fixture card for you to keep abreast of things as they unfold and hopefully you are also receiving Wizzy news by email that keeps you informed of things both on and off the pitch? It would be great to see you down at the club and if you do come to watch and please make sure you say “hello”. If you are watching the seconds then I may be there as captain and our new president John Pleasants may also be playing. If you are watching the firsts then say hi to James Sadler who is the captain and a stalwart of the committee.
Of course the biggest delight is watching the colts play and seeing future cricketers in the making, again you will see in the fixture card when there are matches at home or near you. They really show how the club has grown.
In my previous letters to you, I referred to the drive to raise money for the nets. With donations, the selling of paintings, quiz nights and other fundraising the cost of the nets has now been covered and they are there for all to use and benefit from. The final money raising event last year was the match between Wizzy Green all stars and a team captained by Phil de Freitas. It was a spectacular day both weather and community wise and really showed the cricket club off to its best. A lot of hard work went into the day but I have received nothing but plaudits and thanks since it occurred.
I also must thank Ray and the century club for continuing to contribute to our coffers and am pleased to see the quarterly draw taking place and club numbers almost at 200. Let’s see if we can exceed this mark! I am sure Ray has lost the balls with my numbers on them.
Over the winter the committee have been working hard to ensure that this season is on as sound a footing as possible. Once again I would like to pay thanks to all those volunteers who will be giving of their time to make this club work. If you look in the fixture card you will see some of them listed.
But as well as the coaches, managers, administrators, scorers, grounds workers, umpires, taxi drivers, web administrators that it takes to run the teams, there are countless others who give of their time to man the bar, make teas, clean facilities, check and service the equipment and generally support the cricket played. Friday nights are when the cricketing family comes together at the green around junior coaching evening and it is really great way to start the week end.
A lot of hard work was done over the winter and I am pleased to say we have secured new sponsors committed for three years. We are grateful as this allows us to better plan our activities. All our sponsors can be seen in the fixture card, but I must thank the generosity of the AJW Group for being the major sponsor. When the technicalities of shirt production are finalised we will be sporting new shirts bearing our sponsors’ names.
The ground is the heart of Wisborough Green and it is the venue which provides much of the charm of the club. The green is now being supervised by JP – our new president and if early matches are to go by the wicket is playing well. Much thanks to him for taking this on this season.
I guess this year we will look to see our juniors developing both their cricket and a love of the game and hope the senior sides start to develop the winning habit. I keep my fingers crossed as I would love to see success on the field this season as this keeps the players buoyant and committed. We are trying to build the club and are aware that partners are often non cricketers, so please see in the card that we are having a couple of Pimms & Prosecco days this summer, to allow partners to meet and chat and not have to listen to boring conversations about the LBW that wasn’t. Hopefully we may see you at one of these.
As chairman we have one looming challenge, we are working with the other sports clubs, the parish council, the greens committee and the sports association to see if we can re develop the pavilion. We have developed plans and are in the process of preplanning consultation. (Who knew this could take so long!). And whilst there is no guarantee of success I think it is a direction of travel that will benefit all sports clubs and when there is news to share we will. Obviously this will not come without significant investment, so if there is anyone out there who knows how to raise money, access grant funding etc please shout – we might need your help down the line.
I will sign off now dreaming of that elusive 100 and hope that you all have wonderful summers, enjoying laughter, good health and a little cricket. I will leave the rest of this letter to John our new president and let him outline his plans and aspirations
Steve Calder Smith
Chairman Wisborough Green Cricket Club
An introductory message from the President to all Vice Presidents, sponsors and club supporters.
It is a great honour for me to have been elected as President of WGCC, and it is with great pleasure, if not a little embarrassment at the delay in preparing this correspondence, that I am writing to you all to introduce myself, and to lay out some of my ideas and thoughts as to how I see things developing at the club, and what I see as priorities.
Firstly, for those who don’t know me, I have lived in Wisborough Green for close to 20 years, having been associated with the cricket club in one form or another for most of that time. I have loved cricket all my life, and still turn out on an odd occasion for the second team, I guess I could say the mind is still willing, but these days the body is fighting back, what would I do without Ibuprofen!!
At present, as you will have seen in the Chairman’s message, I am also currently standing in as groundsman, so if you have seen a small bald guy going up and down the cricket square on the roller, or pushing a mower, that will have more than likely been me. As you can imagine this is very time consuming, and so without making excuses, it has limited how much time I can dedicate to President orientated initiatives. In addition, my Partner Lena is also making and serving the teas for all Saturday home games, a very time-consuming commitment, I can tell you though they are very good, certainly worth your while to drop down to watch a game, as you will be more than welcome to join us for a cup of tea and a snack.
It is my firm intention over the course of this year to meet as many of you as possible, and to that end I intend to organise appropriate social functions around games to facilitate a nice environment to tempt you down to watch the cricket, and hopefully get to know myself and the players better. In addition to this I have to say I was always a fan of the pre-season dinner in the village hall, and would love to reinstate an appropriate and more inclusive replacement, I would be very keen to have your opinions on this issue.
Presidents day is fast approaching, Sunday 16th July, and of course you are all welcome to attend, and I look forward to meeting and socialising with you all then, let’s keep our fingers crossed for good weather, and some great cricket. Nearer the time I will ensure more specific details are circulated.
So, what is my vision for the club? I want us to play good competitive cricket in a sporting manner, and for the teams to be successful. I know a lot of people subscribe to the view that it is the participation rather than the result that is of most importance, during my 50 plus years playing and watching sport, it has always appeared to me that the more successful you are, the more enjoyable is the game!!
I don’t accept the doom mongers around who seem to delight in putting the club down. We have adequately shown our potential over the last 5 or 6 years or so, and have proven we can be very successful, in both the invitation league, and the county league. The last couple of years have been challenging on the pitch, but I firmly believe the current committee have good vision on what needs to happen to improve things, and with the right backing and support from sponsors, and club supporters we will have a very rosy future. We must ensure the resources we are putting into colt’s development provides a firm foundation for the future, there has to be an expectation that as talented colts develop they feed into the senior teams, and don’t move away to play for other clubs around the area. That said that is where it is down to us to provide the right environment to make them want to stay and play their senior cricket with us.
As a small village it will always be a challenge to develop, attract, and retain sufficient numbers of talented and committed 18 to 30 year old’s to play for us, but find ways we must. Given the pace of life these days, the myriad of attractions available to our younger generation, not to mention the pressures of education and exams, I realise it is a big commitment to ask people to give up a full Saturday to play cricket, not to mention the commitment required from the support team to score, umpire, feed, prepare wickets etc. The more attractive we can make the whole experience of playing cricket and representing Wisborough Green the more successful we will be. There can be no more enjoyable experience than playing cricket on the Green on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon, but we need to continually replace, improve, and upgrade the facilities available, and ensure we provide a vibrant social environment for the players, partners, and of course you people, without whom the club would struggle to survive.
I would say the club is in a solid place at the moment financially, and there is good commitment to provide the right facilities and amenities to attract new players. The new practice nets are a real boost to the club, and will I am sure will translate into better performances on the pitch. We still have work to do to finance new equipment required to prepare wickets, and keep the pitches on the Green up to the highest standards. One of my goals is to make Wisborough an even more welcoming place so that visitors enjoy coming to play against us. I want us to play hard, but to be fair and polite to our opponents, both on and off the field. I think so far this season we have achieved this, we have had many positive comments around how the games have been played, and of course about the standard of our teas!!
I could go on, but will finish on what I think is perhaps the matter of most importance, that being to bring the sports pavilion up to a standard that supports all our other goals and objectives for the cricket club. Clearly, we cannot work on our own here, as we have to be sympathetic to the needs of the other sports clubs and associations who play on the green. I believe there is a unanimous understanding here that we need to replace the existing building, and I am sure most of you are aware of the plans in place to do just that. The issue of course is money and time, so I would ask you all for as much support as possible here, both verbal, and financial if possible.
Thank you all very much for your ongoing support. I look forward to meeting you all and discussing my thoughts and ideas, and also listening to what you think is important, and how you would like to see things developing at WGCC.
President Wisborough Green Cricket Club