Following a very busy winter, Brightlingsea Cricket Club is gearing-up for the new season as a registered charity with improved facilities and recognition from the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as a Disability Cricket Champion Club.
The club is hoping that improvements and extensions to the existing practice nets at the Bayard Recreation Ground will be completed before the start of the season, along with the relaying of the artificial pitch, which is mostly used by all of the club’s youth teams.
During the close-season, the club has invested in its youth coaching capabilities, with five members, including the club's first female coach, completing their ECB Foundation courses. Two youth members are participating in the Young Leaders in Cricket programme. On Saturday mornings throughout the spring and summer, there'll be practice sessions for the club’s disability section, which also incorporates young people with SEND and the club will also be running girls-only sessions. These are in addition to the more formal U13 and U11 teams which play against local clubs. Kwik Cricket Fridays at the Rec, popular with younger children and their parents, will restart on April 22 and will continue throughout the summer. Sessions run from 6pm until 7:15pm and the bar will be open for food and drinks.
For the senior teams, indoor pre-season practice will soon make the transition outside to the Rec in readiness for the start of the season. This year, there will be a Saturday XI as well as a Sunday team and also a batch of midweek fixtures. The first match for the Saturday XI will be April 16 (away to Long Melford), with the first home match at the Recreation Ground the following weekend (Saturday April 23). The Sunday XI make their debut the following day, in a friendly against Dedham. The junior teams start their seasons in early May.
Sponsorship and support has come from local businesses and groups. Essex Cement sponsors the senior teams, CR French Heating & Plumbing backs the junior teams, Chassis Cab Truck Centres supports Kwik Cricket and the Brightlingsea Rotary Club are backing the girls’ section. Brightlingsea Town Council and Tendring District Council have given financial help to the disability section.
There are plans for a Club Open Day on April 30 as well a Vice Presidents/Memorial match on July 16. Details will be confirmed on the Club’s website (www.brightlingseacricket.co.uk), Facebook page and on Brightlingsea Info.
Anyone interested in joining as a player, supporting the Club, or looking for more information about the club can contact the club via [email protected] or call Richard Hunt on 07464 195852. Club fixtures can be found here.