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Cricket club reveals hopes to raise £10K for state-of-the-art training facility

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A West Norfolk cricket club has launched a Crowdfunder appeal to raise £10,000 towards a new state-of-the-art training facility.Downham Stow Cricket Club is looking to upgrade its practice facilities and install a four-bay training area to meet the needs of its “ever-expanding player base”.The aim is to provide top-of-the-range cricket nets at the Stow Hall ground to allow senior teams and junior coaches to further develop their skills and help the club attract new players.It hopes the facilities will in turn provide new opportunities for both adults and youngsters in the local community to be active, make friends and join a “family-friendly club”.An online Crowdfunder has pledges so far of more than £4,000 and describes the club as “ambitious with big aims” to provide cricket for all. The completed project will give the club one of the best training net facilities in the county, a spokesperson said.The club, formed in 2020 following the merger of Downham Town and Stow cricket clubs, has grounds at Stow Hall and in the Memorial Ground at Downham Market.It runs Saturday and Sunday senior teams and a number of junior boys’ and girls’ teams. It has also recently created a fast-growing women’s and girls’ section, the Crowdfunder site explains.In urging people to support the venture, the club has said engaging 16 to 24-year-olds in cricket can be a “fantastic way” to nurture young talent, hone skills, develop teamwork and create a lifelong passion for the game.The money raised will go towards a first class four-lane net facility and an extended weather-proof practice area. Planning permission has been obtained for the project and the club hopes to also attract grant funding with the aim of starting work this summer. The new facility could also be used by schools and clubs.Club chairperson Ashleigh Corbett, told Your Local Paper: “This new facility will be a game changer for a club that has high ambitions both on and off the pitch. The club currently has around 20 teams and 200 members, ranging from youth sides for boy and girls, senior men’s and ladies teams, we also offer introduction to cricket sessions (All Stars and Dynamos) for children aged five upwards. “The current nets at our ground at Stow Bardolph are no longer fit for purpose and are borderline dangerous, so getting new nets is crucial for the club to continue and offer the high level of coaching and facilities.“With the new nets in place I envisage nights where the whole club (men’s and ladies) can train together in the evening sun, then once training is finished we all congregate in the bar for drinks and the barbecue is on. It will create a fantastic environment at the club. “As chairman I am very excited about the prospect of the new nets, and think it will be a valuable asset for both the club and the community.“The youth is the future of our club and it is exciting to think that the boys and girls enjoying and training in the nets will one day be playing for our first team, scoring centuries, taking wickets, winning leagues, and, who knows, we could even be watching them play for England!” The club says it plays an important role in the community – as well as encouraging people to be active, it is a social hub with events throughout the year and its facilities are used by local schools, hosting tournaments organised by the club’s young leaders. It also hosts charity matches for the West Norfolk-based men’s mental health charity, the 8:56 Foundation and has links with Downham’s Swan Youth Project.The training facilities project has the backing of Lewis Denmark, cricket development director for the Norfolk Cricket Board, who has said he looks forward to seeing the completed facility.He said the club is one of the biggest in the county and, with so many people playing, it is “important that the club has appropriate facilities both on and off the field of play”.He said the new artificial nets are a “key area identified for development”.The club has listed ways for the public to support the new venture, donations of £100 or more would see a place on a new club ‘honours board’, local businesses are also urged to get involved and any fundraising is welcome. For details see: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/new-cricket-net-facility—downham-stow-ccGot a story? Email newsdesk@lynnnews.co.uk



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