A long history and a vision for the future
The small Derbyshire town of Matlock has had a cricket club since 1858, and the game continues to be played here with passion and enjoyment. We've had great players here in that time, including former internationals, such as Derek Randall, capped by England on many occasions in the 1970s and 1980s.
Most importantly though, it has been home-grown talent and volunteer support which has sustained the club for more than 160 years.
The impact of coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has put sport in perspective, given the impact on those families who have lost loved ones. But the effect has been felt across communities and in their sports organisations, which provide opportunities for local people to engage in physical activity, as well as providing a focal point for social interaction.
As well as the loss of sporting activity for children and adults alike, our whole town has taken a significant economic hit during the lockdown period. Matlock is a popular destination for tourists and visitors, so its economic activity has been adversely affected over the past few months.
The visitor economy is also a vital income stream for the cricket club, which has allowed visitors to park on the the outfield on non-matchdays, charging a small fee. This in the past has helped has helped the club to meet general maintenance and revenue costs, such as the upkeep of facilities.
With the restrictions on travel during the lockdown, and the lack of visitors in the town the club lost this vital and significant source of funds, which it can't hope to replace this summer..
Although the club's income has been substantially reduced, we are still determined to create an inspirational environment for people of all ages and abilities from across our community to try and take part in cricket, increase their activity levels - while still able to socially distance - and improve their physical and mental health, make new friends, raise confidence and self-esteem, and play the game to a high level, if that is what they aspire to do.
We aim to do this by raising money from within our community and beyond to help us access available match funding from agencies which support sporting and physical activity in the UK.
The club is expanding its junior section by enabling local children to try and enjoy cricket for the first time through the ECB's All Stars programme, and had just celebrated the first season for our new ladies softball team. We are keen to encourage more women and girls to take up the sport.
We would also like our club to be a place where disability cricket can be played and enjoyed in what we believe is one of the most picturesque grounds in the region.
Our proposal is to create new changing rooms to replace our ageing facilities (as can be seen in the pictures below), which are more accessible and truly suitable - particularly when social distancing may be with us for some time - for players of all ages, genders and abilities.
The lockdown has also helped us appreciate the importance of our community and we want to provide facilities that we hope can be used by local people throughout the year for a range of functions and events with the eventual refurbishment and expansion of our old wooden clubhouse (pictured below).
To unlock the funds we need from funding agencies, we must raise the other 50%, and this is why we are making this appeal to you now.
Thanks to generous support already provided by local business and organisations we are able to offer a fantastic selection of rewards for donations to our Crowdfunder appeal.
Thank you for your interest. We very much hope we can count on your support.