Wakefield Thornes Cricket Club. Who are we?
We are a well established, thriving and successful cricket club with senior and junior teams. But our role in the community is much more than just that of a cricket club. We work with a wide variety of community groups and organisations to provide a year round programme of sports and activities and serve a culturally diverse community.
The club was originally founded in 1923 as the sports club of the then Patons and Baldwins Mill. With the demise of the mill in 1973 it was reformed as Wakefield Thornes Cricket Club (Thornes being the area of Wakefield in which the club is based). So as you can see in 2023 we celebrated both our 50th and 100th birthdays!!
We are particularly proud that we have managed to blend success on the cricket field (and the development of many fine young players) with the development of strong links with other community groups - both sporting and non sporting.
We now field 4 senior teams (three weekend and one midweek) plus seven junior teams at age groups from Under 9's to Under 17's including both girls and boys
Why are we crowdfunding?
Our existing practice nets are at the end of their useful life. In order to cater for the large number of teams and players we provide for, we desperately need to refurbish these facilities. We also need to be able to offer a high quality facility to aid skill development.
Whilst we have been successful in obtaining grants and donations from other sources we need to raise a proportion of the funding ourselves.
Crowdfunding will enable existing players, members, supporters, friends and local businesses to contribute to our cause and help us with this desperately needed new facility
How we’ll spend the money raised
The likely cost of the refurbished facility is around £21,000 plus vat. This will include a completely new base for the nets and new full length carpet. We have a grant of £10,000 from Wakefield Council and have a couple of current donations in memory of members who recently passed away. We can also contribute an amount from existing club funds.
However we need to raise around £7,000 over the winter to enable us to install this new facility early in the next cricket season
The refurbished nets will be an ECB approved facility and will be constructed to the highest standards
Why we need new practice facilities and who will use them
At the moment we stage a large number of junior and senior fixtures - particularly mid week. On Monday to Friday evenings we hold two senior practice nights, one junior practice night, one midweek team and junior fixtures for 7 teams from under 9's to under under 17's. This is in addition to the daytime university, Yorkshire veterans and mosque fixtures which run into the evening.
We also have practice evenings for the rounders teams.
The demands on the ground are such that without good quality practice facilities we are simply unable to cope with the demands placed on us. Our existing facilities are worn and in urgent need of replacement. The bounce of the ball is unreliable - close to non existent at times. The sub base has deteriorated and the construction method poor. They are not fit for purpose in terms of developing the skills of young cricketers and are impossible for senior cricketers to use.
We need to ensure that we can provide an area for training to take place safely whilst matches are taking place on the main ground - for example when senior matches are on we need space for juniors to train and vice versa.
The new nets will also be used for:
- School holiday coaching camps
- One to one coaching and skill development
- Age group development coaching
Ultimately the new facility will enable more adults, children and young people to maintain their interest in sport and pursue active lifestyles
These are just some of the things we do:
We provide cricket for children and young people in many ways.
- We run teams at age groups from Under 9's to Under 17's. Teams play in the Heavy Woollen and Leeds Junior Cricket League. Many of our young players play District and County Cricket and a number have gone on to play Junior international and First Class Cricket
- We stage school festivals each year where teams from 6 local junior schools participate
- We run school holiday coaching course - not just at our own club but also for other clubs around the area who are trying to develop junior cricket.
- We also run coaching programmes in schools and host junior school festivals for up to 6 local primary schools at the ground
- Senior Cricket
Our senior teams play in the following competitions:
- ECB Yorkshire South Premier
- SYSCL First Division
- Pontefract Cricket League Division 5
- Pontefract and District Midweek league
- All our teams have been successful in recent years with numerous League and Cup triumphs. In 2016 our first team became the inaugural Yorkshire Premier Cricket champions in Abu Dhabi
- We stage fixtures for Yorkshire Over 60's teams and junior age group teams
- We stage fixtures for Leeds University
- In 2023 we began a day time tournament for local mosques
Our catchment are includes a multi ethnic community and over 60% of our junior cricketers are from South Asian backgrounds - both male and female
Of the six junior schools that are in our catchment area and that take part in our schools festival, three (Lawefield Lane, Snapethorpe, Flanshaw, ) are in area of high deprivation (Wards in the top 3 Indices of Multiple Deprivation).
We work with ACES Education to delver cricket at
"..six schools in the Cathedral school pyramid. In conjunction with the club we run a cricket coaching programme and stage a festival involving all the schools at the club. We encourage all the pupils to get involved in club activities, to develop their skills; and to become regular club members"
Kyle Dench, Commercial Director, ACES Education
We would like to further engage with these communities through an extended programme of school visits and community liaison. We will further be offering bursaries to those participating in our All Stars and Dynamos cricket initiatives in 2024. These activities will we hope increase access to the club and widen our participation base. They will of course place further demands on our facilities
We work with the Yorkshire Cricket Board to provide coach education courses and the ACO to provide training for cricket scorers. As and when our project is complete we will be working with a local sports provide ACES to provide sports leadership training and in service training for PE teachers in local primary schools.
In recent years we have developed a tradition of staging 'Charity Days' and raising considerable sum of money for Charities such as Children's Heart Surgery Fund and MND Association. These have revolved around 6 a side and Fancy Dress cricket, Mini and Fun Olympics. In 2023 , our 100th anniversary year, we staged and ran a cricket t20 involving past and present members and Wakefield Trinity RLFC
We have worked with other local charities and organisations to operate school holiday play schemes for children with autism and other learning difficulties. We have also run schemes for children in care
Other community activities
We stage home fixtures and festivals for Thornes Sharks Rounders Club. We host meetings of Local Authority Housing and Social Services and carers groups.
We have a fantastic track record when it comes to self help - generating funds to improve our facilities and benefit the local community. In the last15 years we have:
- Built a new pavilion
- Re-laid our ground -both square and outfield
- In 2021 we previously used a Crowdfunder appeal to raise the funding to add a new community room to our pavilion, improve facilities for girls and women and improve access for those with disabilities
Money well spent we'd say!!
How you can play your part
There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality.
1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!
2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.
3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out!
4. Fundraise for us. If you want to run your own fundraiser – maybe a sponsored activity or similar – use the 'contact project' button at the top of our page to let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!