Ricky Swain and the committee have asked me to bring everyone up to date with progress on the essential task of providing decent net facilities for our club. In the short time since our AGM the following solid progress has been made.
* We have made contact with John Cook, who is part of the Cricket Development team at the Ageas Bowl. He has given us some excellent preliminary guidance and is keen to meet with he committee as soon as possible in the New Year, when we can hopefully begin to put together some persuasive bids for grant aid for this project.
* We have met at the ground with three reps from companies who specialise in this kind of work, all of whom were recommended by John Cook. To date one quote has been received.
* Grants bids need to be supported by essential paperwork, including an up to date Club Constitution, a Code of Conduct and a Development Plan. It is possible that we may already have some of these out there somewhere but while they are being hunted down, the committee is looking at newly drafted versions of these documents.
* The committee is reviewing our current financial position and future needs to see what can be used to start up a 'Fighting Fund' to support the project.
* We are gathering information on possible local sources of grant aid such as Winchester City Council.
We hope you'll agree that your committee has made good progress in a short time - and now it's your turn!
Any grant awarding institution will insist that the club has already raised a large percentage of the total project costs before they even look at a grant bid. This percentage varies between a third (33%) and a half (50%) of the total project costs which, based upon information already received, will be well in excess of £10,000.
That leaves us as a club needing to raise a large amount of money ourselves, and quickly. As I've said above, some will come from existing club funds and some possibly from local agencies, but that will not be enough.
So, please think deeply and urgently about how you can help. Do you Know someone who could, for example, sponsor match balls? That would free up club funds to be put towards the nets project. Is there a company who would like to buy advertising at the ground? Could a group of members organise a Race Night, a Quiz Night or hunt around for some great prizes for a grand raffle?
If you have any ideas or want to know more about he project, do please get in touch with Ricky Swain. Let's all dig in and help - thanks.