Cricket club to expand after lottery grant

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Wavertree's pitch © Wavertree CC

Wavertree’s pitch © Wavertree CC

Wavertree Cricket Club is set to expand and hopefully branch out into the full visually impaired aspect of the game after receiving £70,000 from a National Lottery fund.

The club has received the cash as part of a £16.5 million National Lottery grant in conjunction with Sport England and discussions are now finally underway to regenerate the former Liverpool Sports Club of the Year’s facilities.

The money is being pumped into sports clubs and organisations around the country and Wavertree CC will use it to develop a new three-lane netting facility with a security cage.

Club secretary Phillip O’Brien told JMU Journalism that it was actually the third time the Sandown Lane-based club had applied for a grant but the first time they had been successful.

He said: “Since receiving the funding I have been busy working with Liverpool City Council to secure a lease for the club on a nearby field to situate the facility on.  None of this is 100% complete yet but a decision on our planning application is due on April 7th and the final stages of the asset transfer will be put before cabinet in the coming weeks.”

Phillip added that the club hope to have contractors on site this May to start work on the new set-up.

He also told JMU Journalism of exciting new plans to set up a full-sided visually impaired cricket team in partnership with a charity based in the North West.

Mr O’Brien said: “Last summer I was approached by an organisation called SAVI North West. They are an inspirational group of athletes who go out of their way to make sports opportunities for people who are blind and visually impaired. They told me that cricket was one of their most popular sports but they didn’t have a home. We were quick to embrace their love for cricket and they are now members of our club.”

Indoor sessions have already started and games are scheduled for this summer. The club now hopes to stage weekly sessions for the visually impaired and they will be fundraising through the summer months to make full-sided indoor games a reality by next winter.

The club were also granted £500 this month by Liverpool Cricket Competition to give their dilapidated changing rooms a much needed revamp.

About Leigh Kimmins, JMU Journalism