I LOVE Bramhall Cricket Club – and Their Crowdfunder

8 Jul 2021

I Love Bramhall spent a balmy May evening at Bramhall Cricket Club, as countless junior cricketers enjoyed their fun sessions before slightly older groups played competitive matches. 

Talk about the PERFECT way to spend an afternoon and evening. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, with far-reaching views to the Peak District, yet just minutes from Bramhall village. A roomy terrace, superb facilities including a VERY well-stocked bar and, often, outside caterers (wood oven pizza, anyone?) and all punctuated by the therapeutic thwack of willow on ball. 

The odd call of “Howzat” followed by a smattering of polite applause adds to the atmosphere, and it’s easy to be transported back to a simpler time.

Just Not Cricket? Not JUST Cricket

Even if cricket’s not your game (yet – spend an afternoon here and it’s easy to convert), the welcome extends to anyone and everyone – the club is open to the public, and really, there’s no more pleasant place to be. On this particular Friday evening, there was an eclectic and informal crowd – families, couples, cricket people and non-cricket people.  

Everybody Plays

There is abundant parking and plenty of seating, the welcome is genuinely warm and friendly, and the social side is clearly taken seriously. Cricket is taken seriously, too, though at younger age groups, it’s all about the fun and the camaraderie. At Bramhall Cricket Club, the club is for everyone, and so is the cricket. Old and young; competitive, or out for fun; ladies and gents, girls and boys. 

Like many grassroots sports’ clubs, once you get started, you soon get fully involved. The sense of belonging; of family is palpable. Everybody’s part of something, and everybody gives back. Club Chair, Sarah Smith, joined as her children began to play cricket and never left again. Sarah’s far from the only one.

Club Chair, Sarah Smith

Cricket by Numbers

There are around three hundred and fifty members currently, of whom 200 are playing members and 150 social. Of the playing members, 150 are youth and junior players. Seniors make up five teams, with the oldest member still going strong at 74 years young! A recent highlight was in 2016 -BCC reached the national finals of the Cheshire T20. The match was played at Derbyshire CCC and televised on Sky. The same year, the club hosted an England Legends game, raising funds for 1000 Hearts for Harry. They raised £23,000. 

Just Helping

1000 Hearts for Harry is a local charity set up by Debbie and Mario Dubois. Their son Harry died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition aged just 17, so they work with the charity CRY to raise awareness of cardiac risk in young people and provide screenings. Another England Legends to raise funds for both club AND 1000 Hearts for Harry – and a grand day out – is planned for next year.

Don’t Let Rain Stop Play

Right now, Bramhall Cricket Club is working hard to raise money to improve their drainage. The Woodford-based ground is in something of a ‘well’, slap bang in the middle of an area recently prone to flooding. They need to raise upwards of £20,000, which members are already cracking on with. They’ve already managed to generate £18,000, which includes a Sport England grant of £6,000 – though this is dependant on the club reaching the initial £20,000 amount. BUT the clock is already ticking. There are just FOUR WEEKS to go to the end of the Crowdfunder and the club REALLY want to get as near as they can to the £30,000 total cost of the required drainage work.

If you can help, in any way, however small or insignificant it may seem to you, Bramhall Cricket Club will love you forever. Take a look at the Crowdfunding page here. Not just ANY Crowdfunder, there are rewards to choose from, including an Em’s Easy Eco voucher, a year’s social membership, a car wash – even a Cheshire Art Gallery voucher.

History and Action

Bramhall Cricket Club was founded in 1886 and moved to Church Lane Woodford in 1997. Here, the facilities are excellent, as we know. However, in the past five years alone, more than 30 senior matches, and countless junior matches were cancelled or abandoned due to the weather rendering the pitch unplayable. This causes major disappointment and inconvenience, means players and spectators miss out, inhibits promotion for senior teams and costs the club much-needed money.

Action is urgently needed “to get the game on.” The existing drainage is either limited or not fit for purpose. However, after extensive review and surveys, there IS a solution. Already, some modest initial work to help with the 2021 season has started. However, most of the work will take place at the end of this season.  As well as solving the current problem, the project should provide some climate change mitigation.

Bramhall Cricket Club in the Community

As we mentioned, the club hopes to raise as much as they can of the £30,000 total drainage project cost. Bramhall Cricket Club has a rich history of supporting the community. They help local charities such as St Ann’s Hospice (via JustHelping Christmas tree collections) and 1000 Hearts for Harry. Now it’s their turn to ask for a bit of help.

With your support, they can continue to provide competitive cricket for ALL players of ALL ages and abilities as well as an invaluable hub for the local community.

Twenty Twenty Hit Cricket for Six

Like all Sports Clubs, primarily local, grassroots sports, the last fifteen months have been an uphill struggle for Bramhall Cricket Club. The effects of Covid-19 restrictions on BCC have seen only half a season of cricket last year.  Nonetheless, the dedicated committee, crew and members STILL managed to deliver competitive senior cricket along with junior cricket at five age groups. 

Most of the expenses and upkeep costs remain the same, but the club’s income all but evaporated. So now, they need our help and support more than ever. This ‘support’ can be as simple as sitting in the sun, enjoying great company, and taking in the beautiful views. Then, add a tipple or two, a light bite and action on the cricket pitch. Support Bramhall Cricket Club and support the Crowdfunder if you can. It’s REALLY not that big an ask, is it?

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