Hundleton Cricket Club in Pembrokeshire was left cash-strapped and worried for its future when Covid-19 forced it to come to an abrupt halt.
Without its usual membership fees, as well as the income raised from marshalling outside events, the club still had to pay to keep the pitch in good condition and to continue its insurance cover.
Making sure the club remains the heart of village life, it has netted a grant of more than £1000 from Sport Wales’ Emergency Relief Fund, supported by Welsh Government, which has come to the rescue of sports clubs around Wales who might otherwise have been forced to fold.
The club’s Stephen Williams explains: “The grant we have received from Sport Wales has allowed us to continue to pay for materials for the upkeep of the cricket pitch and outfield so that, whenever we are given the opportunity to play, we will be ready.”
The work has been undertaken by its willing team of volunteers, all eager to put the period of lockdown to good use.
“The cricket nets have been upgraded and the changing rooms, scorebox and benches have all been painted,” Stephen added. “When we do eventually welcome players, both young and old, back to the club they will see a playing field and buildings in the best condition ever and we hope this will encourage others to see that the club is forward-looking and has been motivated to find positives among the negatives that Covid has delivered.”
The emergency grant now means that the club – once it receives the go-ahead to fully reopen its coaching and playing opportunities - can continue serving up cricket for its seniors, under 15s, under 13s and under 9s well into the future.
“Without Sport Wales giving us this grant, we would not have had the financial resources to make all this happen,” Stephen continued. “We would all have been talking about how badly this has hit us and the negative implications. Instead, people are now saying how the improvements have been made despite all this adversity. That has cheered people up either by helping out with the work or simply by seeing what has been achieved.”
New funding to help protect and prepare Welsh sport
Hundleton Cricket Club were one of over 300 community clubs and organisations that shared more than £600k of Emergency Relief Funding from Sport Wales, supported by Welsh Government.
To help protect even more community clubs and organisations across Wales, and enable them to prepare for sporting life alongside Covid-19, we’ll be announcing a major new fund on Tuesday 7 July. Make sure you’re kept fully informed by signing up for our Be Active Wales newsletter!