Gloucestershire legends open new nets

May 02 2017
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Rockhampton Cricket Club have unveiled their new practice nets ahead of the new season.

Rockhampton Cricket Club have unveiled their new practice nets ahead of the new season.

The £30,000 nets were funded by club fundraising events and a grant from South Gloucestershire Council.  The opening event was graced by three Gloucestershire County cricket legends; Andy Brassington, Andy Stovold and Phil Bainbridge.  

Phil Bainbridge, who made a handful of appearances for Rockhampton after retiring from the professional game, had the honour of bowling the first ball in the new net to Rockhampton’s first team vice-captain, Will Cartlidge.  The facility was then opened up to members of Rockhampton’s youth section.

Club chairman John Hore said.  “These youngsters are the future of cricket not just in our club, but in all cricket clubs.  If we want them to stick with the game, to enjoy it and to improve at it, then they need to have the best level of facilities and coaching that we can give them.  As a club we are committed to raising the level of cricket we play and provide for the community.  Supported by an army of volunteers on whom this club like all other clubs depends, these new nets are part of a larger project to upgrade our whole ground and coaching systems for the future.” 

Last year, with the help of a loan from the ECB, Rockhampton purchased a strip of land next to their ground to build the new nets.  The club have plans to increase the present boundary size and to move and re-lay their pitch square. 

For such a small, and to some obscure, village the success of Rockhampton cricket club has been remarkable.  Their first team play in the West of England Premier Division Two and they have another three senior teams competing in lower leagues.  Allied to their friendly and inclusive attitude, the foundation of their growth and success has been their youth section. 

The vast majority of their senior teams are made up of players who have passed through or are still playing in their youth teams and many of the volunteers who run the club are parents of those past and present youth players.  The club runs junior teams from under-nines to under-nineteen, but is happy to see children from the age of six or seven at its Friday night practices.