Chairman's New Year message and update

  • December 31, 2020
  • Ian Lamont

Sending out a first ladies team was one of the highlights of 2020 and they will enter the Surrey Slam in 2021

Dear all

First of all, I hope you and your families are well at these uncertain times. Please stay safe.

What a year 2020 has been for all, let alone Merstham Cricket Club.

Although Covid-19 hit, we still managed to stage all but three weeks of our winter nets. We started training in July and went through until September. So we actually offered more training, although different to normal.

Along with this, we managed to host more than 100 games of cricket at Merstham. We hosted our first ladies game and 2021 is going to be big for ladies cricket because next year our team will enter the Surrey slam and softball league. We also hosted school fixtures, Surrey over 60s, plus a Surrey v Essex disability game. I have to thank the grounds team for all their hard work in difficult situations to maintain the ground and for keeping it looking stunning, as always.

Since the end of the summer, organising club matters has not stopped. We have had our defibrillator fitted to the side of the clubhouse. When Covid restrictions allow, we will be hosting training on how to use this potentially life-saving item of equipment.

We have also supported our community with collections for foodbanks and Stripey Stork, our nominated charity for 2020. Please see below for the next collections date.

Trees at Quality Street

If you have been to Quality Street recently, you might have noticed a big change. Big trees at the bottom of the field have been taken down. We had some very big dangerous branches break off last year. Woodpeckers had also taken a liking to the trees. The work to remove them has left a mess, but this is under control. We are just waiting for the water to dry up. The ground is very, very wet..

Ring works started

If you have been to The Ring, you might have noticed that the work has started on the pavilion, thanks to the very few who helped empty the clubhouse out for the works to start. A big thank you to Bernard Feist who has managed to gain sufficient funding - and man power through a charity, VIY - Volunteer It Yourself, which helps young people learn a trade - and other places to allow this work to be done. This work includes building a new store, that needs to be completed by February, taking away the container, plus refurbishing the inside of the clubhouse to meet ECB requirements.

Indoor nets, provisional booking

Moving forward, we have provisionally booked indoor nets at St Bede's for 2021. These will be for the colts, because at the moment adult indoor activity is unable to take place. In any case, these net sessions are under review because of the current Tier 4 Covid regulations. We are enquiring about using the outside AstroTurf, if the indoor space is unable to be used.

Grants received

We have had good news lately with a grant from the Battlebridge (Sports) Club in Merstham. This grant is to be used for junior activities and equipment which is fantastic news because it will be able to help us continue to develop this section and our facilities for all to use.

We have also received £1,000 from Reigate & Banstead Borough Council for training, particularly that which we carry out for our disability squad. We thank them and all the organisations which have given us grants.

A thank you to committee members stepping down

I would like to thank Ali Pervaiz for his time on the committee over the past few years in his capacity of sponsorship manager. This is now a role that we are looking to fill. If interested please get in touch with me as this is an area we would like to develop.

I also would like to thank Graeme Attridge who, over the past few years, has worked hard on the bar making sure it is stocked. He has also run the bar at Friday night training sessions and was also our welfare officer, Graeme is stepping down from the committee after being vice chairman, chairman and bar and welfare manager for the past 10 plus years. As previously mentioned, we have postponed our usual January AGM to April, in the hope of being able to hold it in person. We will keep you posted.

Foodbank next on 16th January

Please keep supporting our collections in aid of foodbanks and Stripey Stork, a local charity which helps families in need. We continue to run our regular foodbanks at the cricket club which are being well supported. My thanks goes out to anyone who has supported these along with Alex Reeves for always being there to help. The next one of these will be on 16th January. Knowing how much this is needed, please try to support these events which we shall continue to run monthly during the winter months.

Happy New Year

Lastly, I would like to wish you all what I hope will be a Happy New Year and I hope that we will see you in better times at Quality Street and at The Ring soon. This year has been very strange. Unfortunately, we have lost some long time supporters of the club, but we have also welcomed some very new additions to the club and there are some more due for 2021 I believe.

Once again, I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that 2021 cricket will be a little more back to normal but, as we showed in 2020, we will manage whatever is needed and have a good season.

Yours sincerely

Richard Feist