Wiltshire Cricket runs a regular programme of Club Forums aimed at providing the following:
- Improved and regular interaction between Wiltshire Cricket Ltd and the club network
- An opportunity for clubs to share ideas and listen to other Wiltshire clubs regarding common issues
- Access to the fantastic offers that Wiltshire Cricket Ltd’s key partners can provide
There are currently no Club forums planned but we will soon be releasing details of our 2014 Club forums
Club Forum 6 - Tuesday 15th November, Devizes Town Hall, 7pm - 9pm
Many thanks to all clubs that attended Wiltshire Cricket's Cricket Unleashed Club forum. We really value your support of these events, and we look forward to running many more, on specific subjects, in the new year.
The purpose of the event was to hopefully enable clubs to leave the room with a clear understanding of the challenges Cricket is facing and what ECB’s intended response to that is at both a national and local level. There was a huge amount covered at the forum as we wanted to set the scene for the future. By covering so many different things it did mean that we were unable to get in to a detail on many subjects, but that detail will follow in the forums in the new year, and in the different initiatives that you will see promoted over the coming weeks and months. At the very least, we hope clubs of all different sizes left with a feeling that there will be support available and that ECB’s new strategy will look to address cricket at all levels.
In terms of some follow up information, please find attached at the top of this page the presentation from last night. Unfortunately, I cannot attach the videos that you saw as these create too large a file.
Key things to draw from the presentation would be the following:
The professional game understands the importance of participation – In my involvement with Cricket, this feels like the first time that the importance of participation has been understood by the professional game. Stats such as adults who play the game are 6 x more likely to attend cricket matches is really resonating with the professional game in terms of them understanding that participation has a direct impact on attendances.
The importance of exposing children to cricket – One of the new initiatives that was presented was the new ECB entry level programme which will soon land with cricket clubs (see below). Stats such as ‘95% of current players first played the game before the age of 16’ and the fact that only ‘2% of children aged 7-15 rate cricket as their top sport’ are really important. The fact that once children are exposed to cricket, ‘58% like it and that 23% who play at school also play in a club’ just goes to highlight the importance of cricket having a presence with young people, i.e. once children play cricket, they enjoy it
The amount of competition cricket faces is huge – One of the challenges with participation in cricket is the fact that there is now so much competition in terms of other sports and leisure opportunities. Whilst Wiltshire Cricket’s statistics in terms of numbers of teams and clubs are pretty good, wat we are noticing is more occurrences of clubs entering competitions in the autumn but then not having the players to fulfil that entry when the season starts. Therefore, the need for cricket to offer a year round experience in terms of engagement with their members is becoming increasingly important if we want to retain players and members in such a competitive market. Of the school children sample who provided the statistics above, they names 47 different sports and leisure opportunities. If Cricket doesn’t engage and with offer quality experiences your club will lose players to our competitors
Some important opportunities and initiatives for you take away and look out for:
Entry level programme – This will probably be the scheme that you hear and see most about from the ECB and Wiltshire Cricket over the coming months. A nationally marketed and administered programme that will offer a skills based cricket programme for 5-8 year olds. Slides 30-35 give the information on this so please read. I will stress again that I believe this programme, with its national backing and resources, will be able to support clubs of varieties. For clubs with established junior sections this might provide a solution for how you cater for 5-8 year olds. For clubs with no junior activity currently this could offer you an opportunity to start some junior cricket by focusing on a really niche part of junior cricket. The programme will be unbureacratic and will not require the level of training of coaches as clubs are normally used to. Over the coming days your club will be offered the opportunity to complete an expression of interest for the entry level programme. At this stage, we would urge every club to complete this expression of interest. It will not tie you to anything other than that you will be invited to hear more in the new year.
Women and Girls initiatives – As I fully appreciate, the prospect of starting a women or girls section may seem daunting when you are already feeling the challenges of running boys and mens cricket. However, female cricket offers a huge opportunity for your club to engage with 50% of the population that you might not currently be providing for. Also, in the context of being relevant to your community and offering a quality experience for the whole family, offering something for women and girls would be a hugely positive step. In 2017, we will be growing our Vipers competition brand, and will be launching a newly packaged Return to Cricket concept.
Online club support – An initiative in the development phase with ECB is a new online club development tool that is being developed by ECB at the moment. Once released this will provide a tool that will enable clubs to complete self-assessment and get tailored resources sent to you. It will also be the way through which you will be able to request support from us as your local cricket board.
Small Grant Scheme – Please be reminded that the EWCT Small Grant Scheme is live. Any clubs wanting to discuss their projects or needing support with obtaining quotes please contact me
Things to be thinking about now
The conclusion last night included some prompts to things I would recommend you as a club should be thinking about now. These can be viewed on slide 59 and 60, and are summarised as:
League AGMs – ECB and Wiltshire Cricket has done a huge amount to provide insight on what players want, and to encourage leagues to listen to insight. However, the onus is on you as clubs to recommend change to the league if it is what your players want, and most importantly please turn up to league AGMs with a club stance on what you are going to vote on.
Winter engagement – If you are not already doing so, think about how you can use the winter months to engage and communicate with your members. Beat the competition by not assuming that your players will turn up in April because they were there last August!
Wiltshire Cricket Partners
Finally, a huge thank you to our partners who turned up last night. Each have made specific offers available to Wiltshire clubs. For further details of these offers, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details:
Gray-Nicolls – Ian Ellis, IanEllis@grays-int.co.uk
Stuart Canvas – Tom Bryant, email@example.com
Notts Sport – Alex Bennett, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia’s House – Ged Montgomery, Ged.Montgomery@juliashouse.org