SUPPORT from two local hotels has helped change the fortunes of Duncombe Park Cricket Club.
The club, based at Helmsley Recreation Ground, has benefited through senior team sponsorship from The Black Swan Hotel in Helmsley and junior team sponsorship through the Feversham Arms Hotel and Verbena Spa, also in the town.
The deal enabled the club to equip and train the under 11 and under 13 teams in 2012.
This season, the junior section will be running two under 11 teams, an under 13 and under 15 team. The sponsorship of the hotels has enabled the club to buy additional training and playing kit for the new teams, as well as covering the cost of sending three of the junior coaches on England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Level 2 courses.
John Higgs, chairman of the Helmsley Recreation Ground Committee, said this, in turn, has led to the club being able to apply for ECB clubmark accreditation, which has opened up the possibility of further grant funding for more improvements.
He said: “2013 will see close to 100 local children benefiting from cricket coaching through the club from ages five up to 15 years.
“This, in turn, will benefit the long- term prospects of the club’s senior teams as the junior players filter into the senior ranks.”
Mr Higgs said the sustainability of clubs was key to attracting grant funding for improvements to the Helmsley Recreation Ground.
“As most people in Helmsley are aware the Baxtons Lane site has more strings to its bow than just cricket,” he said.
“In addition, there is also an open air swimming pool, tennis, outdoor bowls and a senior football team that utilise these facilities. There are also a number of local events that take place on the site including bonfire night and the 10k run.”
The operating committee that was set up in October last year has finalised plans for the refurbishment of the existing pavilion, including the creation of a new entrance, new changing rooms and disabled toilet facilities, refurbishment of the kitchen and insulation and re-cladding of the whole building.
Changes planned also include improving the existing playground equipment, improvements to the swimming pool changing rooms, the provision of picnic tables and improved car parking facilities, lighting and signage.
The charity that owns the ground has secured a commitment from Ryedale District Council to match fund £150,000 over three years for improvements to the site.
Mr Higgs said: “However, we still need to raise a similar amount through local fundraising, private donations and applications to grant bodies such as Sport England.
“In order to raise the sums necessary to pay for these improvements, it is important to be able to demonstrate to grant and funding bodies that there is a local need, that the facility is sustainable and that the community is in support of the improvements being planned.
“It is therefore vital that as a community we support the fundraising initiatives that are underway.”
For more information on fundraising initiatives and what is available at Helmsley Recreation Ground visit the www.helmsleysports.org