A Warwickshire village cricket club has formally opened a new £127,000 pavilion following a herculean fundraising effort supported by Warwickshire Cricket Board.

Kineton Cricket Club has ambitions to expand its junior, women’s and seniors’ sections – as well as offering first class facilities for players and visitors – but its expansion was being hindered by a dated, cramped pavilion.

The Stratford-upon-Avon district club – which play in the Cotswold Hills League – started fundraising in 2019.

Players did a sponsored bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats (not once but twice!), scaled Snowdon several times, held dinners with guest speakers such as David Gower and Jonathon Agnew, plus staged raffles, quizzes, cake sales and BBQs to raise funds.

The club worked with the Parish Council and local businesses to help finance the project, while Kineton’s committee also approached Warwickshire Cricket Board for additional funding through the ECB’s County Grant Fund.

And after hearing of the club’s mammoth fundraising efforts, plus their plans to become a regional cricket hub and get more women and girls into the sport, the Board awarded them a £20,000 grant.

The new Pavilion now boasts four changing rooms with modern shower and toilet facilities, a large communal area and kitchen.

Warwickshire seamer Liam Norwell visited the ground on Saturday (15 April) to formally open the pavilion and spent time coaching the junior and women’s squad players.

Richard Evans, Warwickshire Cricket Board’s Club Development Officer, said: “Kineton are very deserving of support from the ECB scheme. They demonstrated huge commitment to the project and had a clear plan how the pavilion would help them grow the game locally and increase their revenue.

“We’ve helped many clubs across Warwickshire access funding and they’re making fantastic changes to their facilities. Changes that are helping to grow the game and make cricket accessible to all.”

Kineton Cricket Club runs All Stars and Dynamos junior cricket projects and also hosts Warwickshire representative games and Warwickshire over 50s.

Club Chair Haydn Dunant thanked Warwickshire Cricket Board for its support and praised the “staggering” fundraising of club members and allies.

He said: “We couldn’t have completed the project without the incredible financial support of Warwickshire Cricket Board and the ECB. We’re very grateful to both organisations, and to Liam for dedicating time to making our official opening so special and spending time with our young players.

We are a traditional village team but with ambition to become a hub for cricket in the area. In particular we’re very keen to develop our girls and ladies cricket further – but previously the lack of appropriate space had severely restricted us.

“That’s now all changed: we’ve gone from being embarrassed about our facilities to being hugely proud of what we can offer. The future is very exciting at the club.

“I would like to think our efforts could be a benchmark for other small clubs as to how to take on such a huge undertaking and with the right help and support it is possible to achieve a significant improvement for the good of the players and the community.”

For more information about the County Grant Fund contact richardevans@edgbaston.com at the Warwickshire Cricket Board.

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