Corse & Staunton Cricket Club is a rural sports club based in the north of Gloucestershire. The club is open to all and run entirely by volunteers.
We field 13 teams covering all the youth age groups from age 5-15 with boys, girls and mixed teams, a Ladies team, 3 senior Saturday teams, 2 mid-week teams and a Sunday friendly team. During the summer the club’s facilities, field and square are all maintained by members of the club. Last season saw the ground being prepared for over 60 home fixtures. In the past the wicket, teas and facilities have been voted as the best in the County league.
We were the first club in Gloucestershire to be awarded CLUBMARK accreditation and went on to become a GCB focus club. This means that we are regularly audited, assessed as being well run and as part of this have in place a rolling club development plan.
With the drastic reduction in the season this year, not only have we lost out on our normal income streams which obviously creates cash flow issues where there are costs that are still incurred, but we have also been unable to carry out several essential maintenance projects.
On top of this, 2020 is the clubs 125th Anniversary, and it was planned to be celebrated with several community events and fund-raisers to kick-start our plans to secure a second pitch. Given the number of teams and number of community events going on, we are currently constrained to expand any further.
As a result of the above, this has impacted our finances significantly and we believe that as a club we are worse off by in excess of £10,000 plus around £10,000 that we were aiming to raise from our 125th Anniversary fund-raisers towards our second pitch project.
In the following sections, we have provided some details around our community club and then some more information on what the impact of the Covid-19 has been to the club and what we intend to do as a result of our crowd funding project.
We have had our application to the Sport England Active Together Fund accepted, and they have added £7,000 to our total, but to receive this, we still need to reach our overall £20,000 target.
Since 2012 one of the club’s ECB Level 2 Coaches has delivered cricket sessions (curriculum & extra-curriculum) in several local primary schools as part of the ECB Chance to Shine Project. This has introduced hundreds of children to cricket and helped to develop teachers’ understanding and confidence to deliver similar sessions. These sessions have created a lot of interest in cricket and have led to a huge take up of the game which has benefitted not just our club but several other local clubs.
The club has forged a strong relationship with the village school, Staunton & Corse Academy, with more than 25% of the school children becoming members of the club each year. The relationship has led to an annual Club v School match for the Chairman’s Trophy, which is presented by the club Chairman – who is also the Chair of Governors at the school.
Since 2017 the club has run special sessions for 5-8-year olds as part of the ECB All Stars Project. Each year this has seen more than 20 children taking part in an 8-week programme teaching them the basics of cricket with the emphasis on fun. Parents were encouraged to get involved with the sessions thus enabling them to continue the fun with their children at home.
The Junior section started in 1997 and has been an integral part of the club since. The current 1st XI includes many players who have come up through the ranks.
The club was one of the original teams in the Leadon Vale Youth Cricket League and has had representatives on the league committee since the start.
Currently the club runs mixed league teams at Under 11, Under 13 and Under 15 in the Leadon Vale League and an Under 11 Girls team in the Gloucestershire League. We also enter, and host, several Under 9 Festivals giving our youngest children the chance to play.
Over the years we have had a lot of players representing the Gloucester & Forest of Dean District and Gloucestershire County age group teams. Currently we have 2 of our Girls playing for Gloucestershire Women’s XI.
The addition of a Ladies Section in 2002 further cemented the wonderful family atmosphere that is enjoyed by everyone connected with the Club.
We have hosted Gloucestershire County age group and Gloucestershire Women’s XI fixtures on behalf of the Gloucestershire Cricket Board.
Founded in 1895 (hence 2020 being our 125th Anniversary), the Club had a number of temporary homes prior to finding a home at the newly acquired Playing Fields in 1952. This was a far different world from the present; man had not landed on the moon and the thought of motorised rollers, sightscreens and electronic scoreboards seemed a similar fantasy. This has all been achieved together with the progression of the Club to its highest playing standard in 2013, the West of England Premier League (WEPL). The team finished 2nd in the Gloucester Division of the WEPL League in 2019 and were looking forward to pushing for promotion in 2020. In addition to the 1st XI, the club has senior 2nd and 3rd teams playing weekend league cricket as well as two mid-week teams.
The importance of the junior section cannot be stressed enough, the vast majority of 1st XI has progressed through the Junior Section, a source of great pride to us, see if you can spot some of them in the picture below.
We aim to encourage as many people to play cricket as possible from all backgrounds. We encourage this by keeping our subscription fees to a minimum, and we can confidently say that we have the lowest subscription fees of any club within the area. We also encourage a local rural club to use our nets midweek.
The Club pavilion is a social hub for the local community. The bar & patio, looking out over the cricket field, are a lovely setting to enjoy a drink and a chat with friends while junior practice sessions or adult matches are in progress. We frequently have a large number of local people who come down to watch.
Women’s cricket at the club continued to grow with the introduction to The Swans Soft Ball Cricket team in 2018, made up mostly of the mums of the U9 kids section. They entered their first festival at Newent cricket club and then they were hooked. Turning up for training on a Monday night to prepare for their next festival they were very keen, playing in a couple more festivals and then joining in for the family fun day which was a great success for the club. In 2019 the team entered the Winter Indoor Softball League organised by the Gloucestershire Cricket Board. Players continue to get involved in matches, both league and friendlies, which allows female members of the local community to remain active and healthy.
For the last 3 years we have run a Fun Day based around our annual Soft-ball festival. This involves 6 teams made up from club players, parents and the local Cycle Club. This has been a great success and has given “non-players” the chance to enjoy cricket in a fun environment.
The club’s involvement in the Chance to Shine project allowed students from the local universities, both Hartpury University and the University of Gloucestershire, to gain valuable work experience and placement hours to contribute to their studies.
Over the last few years, the club has hosted and run several charity events in aid of cancer charities and this year had hoped to run a “Pink Weekend” in conjunction with Newent Cricket Club in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness.
The club also runs an annual Beer Festival and welcomes all members of the community to join in.
One of our ECB Level 2 coaches has also been invited to deliver a cricket session to the local Brownie group.
Club stays together despite Covid
In the linked video, you will see that despite us all being in lockdown, people from across the club of all ages, worked together to put together this short video. With thanks to Lara.
The club relies on volunteers taking on most of the responsibilities at the club.
In addition to this, each year, we incur significant costs that include fees for use of the pavilion and playing fields, preparing and maintaining the ground, pitch and facilities & equipment pre and post season, insuring the club, paying for the utilities and upkeep of the building and making sure that when everyone turns up to play or to train, that we are able to do so.
Normally, all of these costs are covered by the subscription and membership fees, bar profits, social events and fund raising and of course the sponsorship that we receive from local businesses.
We have now partially re-opened to reintroduce some “normality” into the community and are playing some cricket across all the age groups. However, we understand that some of our members may have been financially impacted, so have taken the decision to suspend mandatory 2020 subscriptions and instead to look for voluntary donations as we didn’t want cost to be a factor in people not returning to play cricket.
In addition, this year, there are a number of additional jobs that need doing which we are having to defer, in some cases, this means that by the time we can afford to do them, the situation will be worse and the associated costs will have escalated. These jobs include:
- Repair of net facilities (flood damage to surfaces & netting damage by rabbits)
- Further protective fencing and fence repair to protect neighbouring residents
- Outfield improvement
- Addition of a further storage shed incorporating net relocation
- Work to replace overgrown artificial wicket with an additional grass wicket
- Broken mower and tractor repair issues
Whilst much of the work will be done by volunteers, if you add together the routine running costs and the materials for the essential work that needs to be done, this is in excess of £10,000. This year, to partially re-open the club to meet Covid-19 restrictions, we have also incurred a further cost of £200.
Whilst those that visit our bar know we have very sensible prices; we still make around £4,000 profit.
Subscriptions across all membership types contributes £3,500
Normal fund-raising events as below contribute £2,500
- Annual beer festival
- Annual race night
- Club Captains Theme nights
- Family Fun Day
- Softball Tournament
Sponsorship & Donations £3,000
TOTAL Lost Regular Income £13,000
As explained in the summary at the start of the project, 2020 is the 125th Anniversary of the club. In the club’s development plan, we identified that we are unable to expand as a club without securing an additional pitch.
For example, with 3 senior teams, the 3rd team have to play their home games 7 miles away at Bushley, and whilst grateful to that club, this costs us money and means that the 3rd team miss out on some of the activities at our club. Any thoughts of starting a 4th team, which would ensure we are able to offer more games to those players bridging between youth and senior cricket are impossible without an additional pitch. There are many other clashes on other days between the ladies, youth and Sunday Friendly teams and it also limits when we can host some County games.
We identified our 125th Anniversary Year as an ideal springboard to get our fund-raising going in order to secure an additional pitch. The specific additional fund-raising planned was as follows:
One-off expansion of the annual beer festival to celebrate our 125 years (£5,000)
Celebratory 125th Anniversary Fund-Raising Function Evening (£5,000)
125th Anniversary memorial club shirts (£500)
As we said in the summary at the top of this project, there are 3 things we are trying to tackle:
- Solve immediate cash flow issues
- Fund essential maintenance projects
- Kick-start of fund-raising for a second pitch
The Rewards that we are offering contribute to achieving all of these. Whilst some rewards are paying money early for next year, this helps immediate cash flow challenges so that we can cover the costs we still incur this year. Other rewards kindly donated by local people and businesses further help with the cashflow situation as well as smoothing the transition from the 2020 to 2021 seasons. The very kind straight forward donations further strengthen this position. We also have a number of Rewards that are related to deferring the 125th Anniversary fund-raising until next year. By supporting these now, well in advance, we can plan to make those events and offerings bigger and better than we might have been able to do otherwise.
Anything we raise over and above the £10,000 to cover our normal running costs shortfall and maintenance, will then also contribute to our second pitch project kick start. We are aiming to get to £20,000 in total. This includes our successful Sports England Active Together application which has added £7,000 to our funds, but we will only get this if we reach our £20,000 target from at least 100 donors. This additional funding would ensure we have fully absorbed the impact of Covid-19, completed our essential work and put us in a position to move forward confidently with our second pitch project.
In closing, we want to thank everyone that has and will contribute to our campaign. We hope that the details above show what contribution the club already makes to the health and well-being of our local community, your support will allow us to do this even better in future years.