The View from the Balcony – April 2024

Dear Members, Volunteers, Players, and Supporters,

Welcome Back for the 2024 – albeit slightly delayed!

As Chairman, it is with immense pleasure and a significant dose of optimism that I welcome you all back to what promises to be another great season ahead. The spirit of cricket is alive and well in our community, and this year we’re set to embrace not just the game we love, but enjoy a series of significant improvements and initiatives that will push the boundaries of the club.

A Winter of Progress and Preparation

Over the Winter, whilst the incessant rain fell, we’ve been anything but idle. Through the dedication of our team and the support of some fantastic partners, we’ve embarked on a £35,000 series of upgrades and enhancements to our facilities.

New Roof Courtesy of Sport England Awards for All
Our clubhouse now boasts a brand new roof, ensuring a warm and dry welcome for all, no matter the weather. Thanks go to John Kennedy and his team for their patience and completing the roof in time despite occasionally horrendous weather conditions.

New Solar Panel System – A Sustainable Future with support from the ECB County Grants Fund
We’ve taken a significant step towards sustainability by installing a solar panel system, reducing our carbon footprint and energy costs, thanks to the generosity of the England and Wales Cricket Board and our own 100 Club.

Accessible Toilet Facilities – supported by the 100 Club
As a club, we strive to keep inclusion and accessibility at the heart of our values. To this end, the new accessible toilet facilities within the clubhouse ensure everyone in our community can enjoy their time at the club in comfort.

Refurbished Changing Rooms and Spectator seating
We’ve also given our benches and changing rooms a much-needed facelift, enhancing comfort and convenience for players and spectators.

Exciting Developments on the Horizon
Looking ahead, we have ambitious plans to further enhance our club’s facilities and community offerings.

Patio and Balcony Project
With thanks to the generous support from one of our sponsors, we will shortly deliver our project to upgrade and improve our patio and balcony areas, which already offer magnificent views over the ground and beyond.

Future Structure as a Charity
We’re in the early stages of discussions about restructuring our club as a charity, a move that will open new doors for funding, community involvement, and the sustainable growth of our club.

A Season to Look Forward To On the Field
As we approach the start of play on the field, notwithstanding the delayed start, there’s much to be excited about:

The Return of Our Pro
Our professional player coach Thikshila de Silva returns this and, bringing experience, skill, and excitement to the field.

Hawks Academy
The future of cricket is bright, with our Hawks Academy nurturing young talent, and developing the next generation of players in a competitive but safe environment.

Great Harwood Harriers
Our Women and Girls Teams have a new name and a new identity. The Harriers are set to soar this season, representing the strength, diversity, and talent of women and girls in cricket.

Adult Cricket
Our four adult teams are gearing up for a season of competitive cricket, with hopes for another successful season whilst also developing the next generation of players. All adult matches at Cliffe Park will once again be live streamed via our YouTube channel.

Bowls section
Our teams start the season with a renewed optimism and having acquired some new faces over the winter are hopeful for a successful season ahead.

As we stand on the brink of this new season, I write with great pride at what we’ve achieved over the winter, and with anticipation for what lies ahead.

Together, we are more than just a cricket club; we’re a community, a family, bound by our love for the game and our commitment to each other.

I invite you all to join us, whether on the field, or from the new and improved viewing areas, or as part of our vibrant volunteer team, as we continue on together.

Here’s to a season of sunshine and excellent cricket and sport.

Stuart Maher
Chairman, Great Harwood Cricket Club

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