Bentley Colliery Cricket Club chairman Rupert Wilcock hopes to inspire more kids to play cricket rather than football next week when the club hosts its ECB Club Open Day.
The ECB Club Open Day initiative, supported by Waitrose, is a nationwide programme that aims to help boost grassroots cricket participation by encouraging cricket clubs to open their pavilion doors and welcome guests from their local community for a day of cricket taster sessions and activities.
This summer more than a 1000 cricket clubs will host a Club Open Day nationwide, with Bentley Colliery’s on Monday May 30.
The club has organised a junior game in the morning against rivals Fenwick before a 40-over adult game in the afternoon, and Wilcock is desperate to get as many young faces through the door as possible.
“For us, it’s about helping our younger players and getting new ones in the club and playing cricket,” he said.
“We’re going to find it hard because the football season is so long and it’s going through the summer with the European Championships.
“It’s just so much easier for kids to play with a football rather than a rock hard cricket ball, but hopefully we can show them how fun it is and they’ll fall in love with it.”
Entering its third year, the ECB Club Open Day scheme has proved to be a successful initiative, with 900 clubs holding events in 2014 – a 300 per cent increase from 2013 – welcoming 116,820 guests, with 9,000 becoming new players, volunteers and social members.
Clubs taking part will enjoy £100 food and drink offer from Waitrose to help deliver their event, and Wilcock is hoping the day will help inspire a new era cricketers.
“We’re an open club, a welcoming club and people should come and have a go,” he added.
“Cricket is a social thing and you make friends for life. On the Bank Holiday, people will get a taste of it and hopefully that taste will keep them coming back.”
For more information about Club Open Days, supported by Waitrose, including a full list of clubs registered, visit ecb.co.uk/clubopendays.