COVID-19 – A Message From Our Chairman

I wanted to follow up on the statement back in the middle of March, which now seems so long ago, to update members, supporters, sponsors and guests and outline where we are as a club.

The circumstances in which we find ourselves are unprecedented. The combined effects of the coronavirus outbreak and the consequential financial impact continues to be unpredictable, and for many clubs it may have long lasting, severe consequences. This simply has not happened before, in any of our lifetimes. There is no obvious way out of the mess in which we find ourselves. There isn’t a manual to read.

I fear that competitive sport at all levels will find itself way down the pecking order when it comes to a return to ‘normality’. Our function room and clubhouse are likely to be even further away from returning to unrestricted use to support our members, their guests and our wider local community.

As a club, we do however go into this uncertain future in a relatively strong position. For our club to survive, and then to thrive, it needs all of its parts to work together. This includes our officials and management committee, our players and coaching teams, our junior members and their wider families, and our sponsors need to work together. Never has the spirit of ‘My Club. Your Club. Our Club been more readily needed from us all.

I am delighted that all of those different groups of people are addressing their responsibilities for the good of the club. Many members are using their new-found spare time without cricket to volunteer their services with Hyndburn Hub, supporting our most vulnerable members of our local communities. This is something of which we are very proud.

Our government’s financial help has been welcome, and we are grateful to members for renewing their subscriptions, notwithstanding the prospect of limited or no cricket in 2020. If you have yet to do so, and can financially, please do renew your subscription as soon as you are able.

That said, the threat to our club, like many others, is very real. We have very limited means to guide us safely through. We cannot adequately protect visitors to our facilities, and have had to close them for the safety of our local communities.

We have been guided by the ECB, LCF, and the Lancashire League as well as Public Health England. We will ensure we continue to be so guided by a few key principles in the months ahead:

  1. The management committee are working tirelessly to manage the massive financial impact that this outbreak has imposed upon us. The sensible financial stewardship that the club has benefited from over the past decade leaves us well placed to weather this significant storm, when others sadly may not. It will not pose a threat to our existence, and we hope to come out of this crisis stronger than ever.
  2. The safety and well-being of all of our members, staff, volunteers and visitors remains our priority. We were ahead of the curve in taking action to protect the health of our community, by closing our facility to the public. We are aware that our facility, views and open spaces are magnets to people seeking fresh air and outdoor activities. We could not stand by and risk the health of any individual. Whilst may of our players expressed a desire to continue to use our facilities, we were conscious of not allowing any perceived short term gain to risk those individuals health and welfare.
  3. Your club benefits from a wonderful committee with a vast array of different skill sets which complement one another to the club’s significant advantage. They will continue to take decisions which will ensure that your club is in good shape when a return to cricket is permitted.

What we do need right now is some direction from central government and the cricket authorities to enable us to better plan for our future. But until that arrives, and into the future, we will need your help to get back on our feet.

There is no obvious way out of this. But so many of us have so much of ourselves invested in the club we love that we will make one. We will come out of the other side. Whatever is to happen, we will make it happen with the long-term future of our club in mind and the community it serves at its heart.

Thank you all for your support.

Stuart Maher

Chairman

Coronavirus Update – All Cricket Suspended

Following the recommendations & advice received from the England & Wales Cricket Board today, all recreational cricket at all levels is suspended until further notice.

You can read the ECB’s announcement here: https://www.ecb.co.uk/news/1646355

We did however find some time to play some competitive junior cricket before the outbreak. Congratulations to our U-9 and U-15 teams who won their respective competitions. First two cups on the shelf!

There are however some important announcements to make:

1.    Junior Training – following the announcement all remaining indoor training session for juniors have been cancelled. Please keep an eye on the club’s information sources for details of when these will recommence in the blistering sunshine of early-Summer 2020.2. Ladies Cricket – training sessions are also cancelled until further notice. Announcements will be made in due course when outdoor training is scheduled to recommence.

3. Senior Men’s Cricket – all indoor sessions have been cancelled. Announcements will be made to players in respect of outdoor practice sessions, which will be linked to ECB advice.

4. All scheduled cricket fixtures at every level – Men’s, Ladies and Junior cricket – have been postponed. No start date for the 2020 season is yet proposed. Please monitor our website and social media feeds, which we will update once we receive further information from our respective league administrators.

We as a club face an uncertain financial future, and challenging times ahead. We hope that we can reply on you, our members, supporters and followers, to help us in the future.

Chairman’s Report from the Annual General Meeting

I am pleased to present my report to members as your Chairman. May I begin by welcoming those in attendance, and thanks to those for the courtesy of their formal apologies.

My annual review this year has a particular theme:          We need your help and support.

Most of what I will report can be improved through members giving more to their club.

Cricket performance

As always I will start by reviewing on the field. It is right to review this first as it remains and always will be the club’s priority.

At 1st XI level, it was as disappointing as it could possibly have been. Our pro, Thikshila de Silva, understandably took time to settle on his first visit to the UK. A change of captain early in the season as Pual Houldsworth stoof down, and our – correct – appointment of a young captain coupled with an -inexperienced 1st XI was always likely to contribute towards an inconsistent season. However, to finish second bottom and have to re-apply for election into the league can only be described as disappointing.

We did win more games than the previous season, but it must be acknowledged that in Division 2 we were playing a poorer standard of cricket than in 2018. To finish 11th out of 12 is not a great outcome.

So, the only way is up. We have 2, and we hope to possibly have 3 or 4 new faces looking for 1st XI cricket, joining or re-joining us, and competition for 1st XI places can only be a good thing.

John Seedle once again did an excellent job as coach, and continues to bring a far more structured approach to practice and 1st XI matchdays. Thanks to him for his support and services throughout 2019, and we are delighted to have him again for 2020 and hopefully for many years to come/.

I would personally like to thank Matt Oddie for taking on the role as captain, we believe the youngest captain in our long history. He will only get better as his years and experience progress.

Turning now to the 2nd XI, led by Russell Whalley. We started the seaon very well, winning 5 of the first 6 matches. But the bright start faded, and we finished winning just 4 of the next 14 league games, to finish 7th out of 12 in Division 2. Our 2nd XI is intended to be our breeding ground for future 1st XI cricketers. But the outcome of only one player under the age of 45 scoring more than 170 league runs, and nobody taking 20 wickets or more, is a cause for concern.

Finally, in terms of senior cricket, our 3rd XI secured a top-half finish, with our young players getting opportunities of developing their skills and abilities against good quality opposition. Now, I will be the first to admit I do not see as much 3rd XI cricket as I would like. Nonetheless, in our group of 7, we finished 3rd, winning 6 out of 10 games played. In the inter-group play offs, we lost both games to finish an effective 9th out of 21 which is still a good outcome. We are however one of very few clubs to offer a genuine 3rd XI team. The vast majority of clubs are only able to field a 3rd XI made up of 2nd XI players and younger 1st XI players. The gap between 3rdXI and 2ndXI cricket, particularly in Div 2, is therefore not so large, and helps keep the 2nd XI competitive at times of player unavailability

The most exciting cricket development of the year was in respect of ladies cricket. We are delighted to have our first formal ladies team, and rule changes are on the agenda at tonight’s meeting to place that team on a formal footing. Thanks must go to Vicky Cocken for getting this team off the ground, as we look to add to our offering for our local community. They remain however a small band of individuals which needs your help and support to help them develop.

Turning to junior cricket, we continue to surpass expectations of a club of our size, in our community, surrounded by multiple other clubs. Mick Deasey, and all the junior managers, do a wonderful job. Special thanks must go to everyone involved. We are acknowledged to be one of the top 3 clubs across all age groups together with Clitheroe and Lowerhouse. They have significant, multiple advantages over our club, and we operate in an area which is overpopulated with league clubs. Nonetheless we enter teams at all age groups, almost always in the top divisions available. The teams continue to challenge for honours at all age goups. The challenge for the club is to develop these players into long term 1st XI cricketers. This is difficult, as we also look to balance the interests and rights of other playing members to a meaningful game of cricket

To summarise ourt cricketing performance overall, there is obvious room for improvement, particularly at senior level. That will only come with hard work, dedication and commitment to one another. We need your help and support.

Groundstaff

2019 was once again a challenging year, but for more familiar reasons. It was very wet for long periods, which is always challenging for part-time groundstaff with other commitments. We have been fortunate to have had groundstaff over the years who worked for such limited cost. Our only option this year was to look somewhat commercially, and Nathan did a good job in difficult circumstances. The lack of support and volunteers is a concern, but we are hopeful to have more bodies in this regard this year. It will however never be enough, and the cost of his expertise may not be sustainable. We need your help and support.

I would also like to thank those members who have helped out, at different stages. Those litter pickers, fixers, movers and tidyers. You know who you are, and do not do it to seek any recognition. We are very grateful for the silent work you do for the benefit of us all.

Clubhouse and facilities

Notwithstanding the quality of our clubhouse and associated facilities, the annual accounts presented to the meeting speak for themselves. It has not been the successful year that we had hoped for. There are a number of possible reasons for those, and undoubtedly all contribute to the lower bar income and room hire. The committee have acted to replace our former stewardess, and we hope that Becky and her new team will settle in quickly.

The clubhouse remains our main asset, and our major income and revenue stream. We all have to look after it, to keep it as the place to have your function in the local area. We need your help and support.

Memberships & Communications

In terms of membership and subscriptions, we had a slight fall in member number in 2019. Special thanks should go to our secretary Richard Law-Riding who stepped in to help with our subscription and membership processes last year, in the short-term absence of our subscriptions secretary as he became a father for the first time. It is a time-consuming role, which when couple with other club responsibilities meant he did go above and beyond for your benefit as members.

In terms of communication to members and the wider-world, i would like to give particular thanks to Neil Kennedy for his help with match reports, and to everyone who has helped in this regard. We see how far these travel, with people reading them all over the world. There are many who still take an interest in the club.

We are aware that we can be better at communicating what is happening at the club, but we simply don’t have the time to do as much as we would like. To get better, we need your help and support.

Sponsorship & Advertising

I would like to thank to all members who have helped renew, secure and develop existing sponsorship arrangements in 2019. We were by no means perfect, but we did our best with the limited time we have available. We try to bring in new businesses to support what we do, but it is very difficult to do so between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m., and at weekends.

We were previously quite reliant on this as a source of income, and we remain in need of financial support from local businesses. We are working as hard as we can on this, but we just don’t have the time to do what we feel we can. We need your help and support.

Financial position

The headline numbers showing the significant loss in our accounts may raise an eyebrow or two, but our wonderful treasurer Michael Perrin will discuss these in his report to follow, and in his notes to the accounts.

I would also like to thank our auditor Adam Newton for preparing the formal accounts on behalf of his club. Thanks for your help and support. It remains needed to save us further professional fees.

100 Club

Once again thanks go to Ian Welsh, and to Shirley Maher for the handover and co-ordination of the 100 Club. It remains a significant income stream for the club, and enables us to make repairs and improvements as and when they are required. Repairs and improvements within our kitchen, and a replacement door to the extended balcony, are just two of the improvements in the last 12 months which the funds raised have been used for the benefit of all members and their guests.

Our Management Committee

We have a very small management committee here at our club at present, which has hovered around the 10 member mark for a number of years. We have 2 part-time employees, for the bar and on the ground. Members should consider what this club offers, and what those individuals deliver for the benefit of everyone who comes to our club.

The people that make up this committee are brilliant, talented individuals. What they achieve on a monthly basis is astonishing. I would not swap any of them, for any committee member, at any other club. They achieve all that they do despite – almost exclusively – having full time jobs, family responsibilities or other voluntary posts.

I invite members to consider your key officials now, here on this top table. We as individuals should not be the members running this club, at our stage in life. But we are in this position, and we do have so many ideas a plans of how we would like to move this club forward. But the lack of numbers – and crucially, free time – prevents us from moving the club forward as fast as we would like.

So we need you. We need your help. More importantly, we need you to commit your time to help.

When you take on a role such as we do, you do so in the hope that you get something back. Not financially, but in a much wider sense. But when you ask 10-12 individuals to manage an organisation like ours, for no pay, and for so long as we have, it becomes disheartening and it is often that disinterest which leads people to walk away. It becomes unenjoyable, and that is the biggest danger this club faces at this time.

New members in the running of the club always bring new ideas, a fresh impetus. We have benefitted in this regard in the last 12 months. But we need your help and support.

It doesn’t need to be formal. It can be a promise to help out with a certain aspect. Training can be given on anything. Your skills are transferable, whenever they may have been acquired. Without the input of more members, this club will only go backwards, not forwards as it is perfectly placed to do so.

In Conclusion

Our club remains in a solid position. We have no debt, and some capital reserved for repairs, improvements and developments. Members benefit from a brillaintly talented band of volunteers. But we need your help and support to help this club achieve its potential.

 

Stuart Maher

Great Harwood CC Club Chairman

17th February 2020

Match Report – 2020 AGM – Monday 17th February 2020

AGM Match Report.

Today’s match report comes from The Cliffe on a wet and rainy Monday Evening. You may wonder why we are playing in the dark in February…..well all will become apparent as you read through this report.

As we approach AGM Kick Off…or stumps or whatever the cricket term is…..we manage to pull together just a full squad of 15. I must state at this point this squad of 15 is by far the strongest squad the club has and is made up of individuals of all ages, led by our Chairman Mr Maher.

As the game (AGM) kicks off we get off to an average start as we review the on field performance for last season. This continues as we review the accounts for last season which were lower than our position the season before. Our squad for the evening pull together and rally to produce some positive play, and tactics of how we can continue to improve as a club.

As the 1st innings ends we put ourselves in a strong position as we move into the next innings (next season). Everyone in the squad tonight believe strongly as a club we will come out winners if we pull together as a team.

The moral of this match report (from me your resident match reporter) is that we have a fantastic “small” squad of people that run “Your Club” and without these we wouldn’t have a club. Albeit I appreciate that on a wet and rainy Monday in February that people are too busy to attend an AGM…..but I reach out to you all as “Your Club Needs You”.

We all believe that what our Cricket Club offers is a fantastic set of facilities including cricket but also on the social side….and it doesn’t run itself.

I have personally volunteered to join this great club’s committee to do more to support the running of the club……but don’t fear….you don’t need to do this…..any support, however small, helps us.

Please reach out to support “Your” Great Harwood Cricket Club.

Over and Out

Neil

Support Your Club

If you would like to support Your Great Harwood Cricket Club, let us know.

DM us via facebook or twitter, call us on 01254 884136 or complete our contact us form and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Note – Chairman’s remarks on the AGM will follow at a later date.

FINAL REMINDER: Annual General Meeting 2020

This is your final reminder that our AGM will take place on Monday 17th February 2020 commencing at 7.30 p.m. in our clubhouse.

We hope all members will be able to join us to review the last 12 months and hear our plans for 2020 and beyond.

If you require a copy of the Agenda for the meeting or a copy of the club’s annual accounts in advance of the meeting, please contact us: info@gtharwoodcc.co.uk

2020 AGM Details

Our AGM will take place on Monday 17th February 2020 commencing at 7.30 p.m. in our clubhouse.

We hope all members will be able to join us to review the last 12 months and hear our plans for 2020 and beyond.

If you require a copy of the Agenda for the meeting or a copy of the club’s annual accounts in advance of the meeting, please contact us: info@gtharwoodcc.co.uk

New Year’s Eve @GHCC

Join us for a family-friendly and fun filled evening of entertainment this coming New Year’s Eve.
We have Live Music from Charlotte Olivia
Also featuring a buffet and disco into the early hours.
This is a family-friendly event at our family-friendly club.
Tickets are £7 for adults, with a family ticket costing £15
To book tickets or for further information, contact us here

Awards 2019

Our annual awards evening took place on Friday 11th October. Whilst 2019 was not the most successful season on record, there was still plenty to celebrate. As ever, Junior and Senior awards were presented together.

CLUB AWARD WINNERS

Mens’ Player of the Year – Ben Rogers

Womens’ Player of the Year – Elizabeth Locke

Players Player – Paul Newton

Most Improved Senior Player – Stephen Schofield

Junior Player of the Year – Ethan Houldsworth

Fielder of the Year – Matthew Oddie

Club Person of the Year – Victoria Cocken

Supporter of the Year – Martin Howard

Fastest Fifty – Andy Brown

Performance Award

Hamza Qayoom 100 vs Rawtenstall

Performance Awards – Juniors in Senior Cricket

Joel Houldsworth – 55 vs Rawtenstall

Junior Performance Awards – Junior Teams

Ethan Houldsworth 50* vs Bacup, Burnley and Lowerhouse

Ethan Houldsworth 4-1 vs Norden

Rayhaan Hussain 50* vs Bacup

Ted Tomlinson 50* vs Burnley

Junior Performance Awards – District Teams

William Thomson – 76* Hyndburn U11 vs Wyre

Matt Litherland – 65 Hyndburn U13 vs Fylde

Ismheel Shakeel – 50* Hyndburn U13 vs Oldham

Ethan Houldsworth – 54* Hyndburn U15 vs Pendle

Ted Tomlinson – 75* Hyndburn U15 vs Wyre

SENIOR AWARD WINNERS

1st XI Batting – Allan Armer

1st XI Bowling – Paul Newton

2nd XI Batting – Paul Houldsworth

2nd XI Bowling – Tanvir Sajid

3rd XI Batting – Hamza Qayoom

3rd XI Bowling – Joel Houldsworth

JUNIOR AWARD WINNERS

Hawks Under 17s

U17 Player of the Year – Joel Houldsworth

Hawks Under 15s

U15s Batting – Ethan Houldsworth

U15s Bowling – Ethan Houldsworth

U15s Most Improved – Rayhaan Hussain

Hawks Under 13s

LJCL West Cup Winners – Euan Vickery, Ismheel Shakeel, Matt Litherland, Lewis Elliott, Nihaal Basharat, Kassim Masood, Shabaaz Hussain, Logan Heys, William Armer, William Thomson, Sam Newton, Aniq Hussain, Oliver Sherriff, Jacob Houldsworth, Bilal Zamir

Hyndburn Indoor Competition Winners – Ismheel Shakeel, Matt Litherland, Lewis Elliott, Nihaal Basharat, Kassim Masood, Sam Newton

U13s Batting – Ismheel Shakeel

U13s Bowling – Kassim Masood

U13s Most Improved – Euan Vickery

Hawks Under 11s

LJCL West 3 League Winners – Alex Sherriff, Charlie Southworth, Ciaran Holden, Harry Cameron, James Hennigan, James Thomson, Jonathan Wilson, Josh Duckworth, Lewie Hacker, Max Cocken, Nathan Sheridan, Oliver Astley, Oliver Sherriff, Scott Duckworth, Thomas Henderson, Thomas O’Doherty, Zach Houldsworth

U11A Batting – William Armer

U11A Bowling – Aniq Hussain

U11A Most Improved – Oliver Sherriff

U11B Batting – Nathan Sheridan

U11B Bowling – Josh Duckworth

U11B Most Improved – Thomas Henderson

Hawks Under 9s

U9s Player of the Year – Max Cocken

U9s Batting – Scott Duckworth

U9s Bowling – Ciaran Holden

U9s Most Improved –Karan Francis

Presentation Night 2019

This year’s Presentation Evening will take place on Friday 11th October at the Cliffe.
As ever,  junior and senior awards will be presented together.
All welcome. Please arrive for a 7pm start.

MacMillan Coffee Morning – Friday 27th September

The club will be hosting a coffee morning for Macmillan Cancer Support this coming Friday, 27th September from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
Support has been excellent from friends and members since the event was started and over £2000 has been raised over the last 3 years.
We hope that you can continue your support this year by attending the event, donating a raffle prize or simply making a cash donation.
If you are unable to attend and wish to make a donation, please contact us by email at info@gtharwoodcc.co.uk or via direct message on social media and we will make sure this is passed on to the organisers.

Hawks training cancelled

Owing to the poor weather tonight’s on-field junior practice has been cancelled.

Junior Team Managers will contact parents & guardians in the event of an improvement in the weather which enables practice in the all weather nets

Volunteer!

Volunteering and getting involved with any voluntary organisation can be an extremely rewarding experience.

At Great Harwood Cricket Club we have always embraced this philosophy and a wide variety of opportunities are available for young and old alike. Never before has the benefit of volunteering been so great!

So why volunteer?

Local clubs rise or fall on the contribution of their volunteers. Changing employment, moving schools, going to university, wanting to work in sport or just pursuing self improvement or even fancy a new challenge, Great Harwood Cricket Club can help you to achieve your goals and objectives with your new aims firmly in mind.

Achieving positive results and partaking in life changing experiences through cricket can be satisfying, fulfilling and very rewarding. Add to the feeling of self-worth and self-esteem and it is easy to associate time spent in cricket with positive results and obvious merit.

Some of the benefits to any individual are:

  • Boost your CV with volunteer roles and responsibilities
  • Learn new skills, use existing skills or make use of skills not currently being used
  • Skill acquisition – learn from ‘hands on experience’
  • Continuous professional development – attending training courses and workshops
  • Pride in helping your local community
  • An enhanced feeling of self-worth and accomplishment from your own efforts
  • Changed perspectives and increased respect for a wide variety of groups
  • Enhance your studies or career development outside the learning environment by reinforcing your learning with ‘hands on’ experience
  • Turn your hobby into a profession
  • The ability to explore different career and job opportunities voluntarily before committing to employment in that field
  • The opportunity to benefit from physical and social affects – meeting new people, getting out on a regular basis and enjoying the social side that cricket club’s generate
  • Improve your health – volunteering can have de-stressing effects and enable you to get fit
  • Volunteering can give you vital written and verbal references for job applications and interviews

Don’t take our word for it; recent studies have found the following that among the top 200 of UK leading businesses:

  • 73 per cent of employers would employ a candidate with volunteer experience over one without
  • 94 per cent of employers believe that volunteering can add too skills
  • 58 per cent say that voluntary work experience can actually be more valuable than experience gained in paid employment

So why not get in touch today to discuss the opportunities we have available. We are always on the lookout for new people and your existing or desired skills will u doubted my suit volunteer roles we are looking to fill.

Contact us at info@gtharwoodcc.co.uk for more information