It's with great sadness that we've come to the end of the 2020 season - a season that looked like, for large parts of Spring and early Summer, would not happen at all - but in the end gave so much.
Despite the late start (July rather than April), it is fair to say that as a club we made the absolute most of the truncated season, playing on to the very end of September and working to our policy of "getting as much cricket for as many people as possible".
On behalf of the committee, we'd like to send this to all members (Adult & Youth) to give you an idea of how the season went, to thank those who made it happen and to look forward to next year and beyond...
Hopefully not too long to bother to read..
Some top level highlights:
1. With no formal League Cricket we had to arrange our own Saturday Fixtures at short notice as well as Sunday Fixtures and a couple of Midweek/Intra-Club. Thanks to Nikunj Mehta and Simon Sheppard for working hard to get us as many suitable fixtures as possible - as well as Aran Long and the captains for all their cooperation and flexibility. It was a huge scramble for all Clubs to find fixtures so we did amazingly well in difficult circumstances. Hopefully we were able to keep the vast vast majority of people happy.
2. Despite the short season we got lucky with the weather still managed to stage 50 adult fixtures (compared to 60 in a full season in 2019 - which was weather affected). We were able to Field 2 Sunday teams on 6 occasions and 5 teams over a weekend 4 times. We played several new opponents as well as lots of old friends. Double headers with both Weybridge and Sandhurst were particular highlights for me.
3. Over 70 different players played Adult Cricket for the club in 2020 including 5 U16's and an incredible 8 U14/15's. In addition, 4 parents of youth players also had their first taste of adult cricket for the club with 2 more showing interest too!.
4. Thanks to all the Captains, organisers and players for adhering to the Covid guidelines to make sure we "got the game on". Cricket wasn't quite as we all knew it but by following the guidelines and rules we were all able to enjoy it. Time will tell whether some of the changes we saw this year will remain in place in the future.
5. Despite having to cancel the popular Ricky McDowell Memorial Day, we were able to hold an impromptu Adrian Chatters Memorial 6-a-side tournament in early September. The day was big success in terms of adult and youth participation and integration. Well done to the "Sheryl Crows" who were the triumphant team on the day.
6. The traditional End-of-Season Tour was also cancelled due to Covid, but a big thanks to Ant Avrili for taking on the job of Tour Manage and arranging everything despite the eventual cancelation. We are currently discussing preliminary planning for 2021 Tour..
7. We have moved forwards with technology too, especially with electronic scoring of matches. Thanks to all those who have embraced the future and helped to get up to speed with scoring on an iPad or Laptop. This has enabled our scores to be "live" on the internet as well as saving lots of admin time for Captains.
1. Covid-safe youth practice on a Friday night commenced at the end of June thanks to careful planning and supervision by Sarah Emes and all the coaches. Thanks to all the youth players, parents coaches and of course Sarah Emes for making Friday nights not only safe but productive and enjoyable.
2. Not as many fixtures as usual were possible although each age group managed to play some matches including several successful intra-club games to ensure we maximized opportunity to play - even if regular fixtures were not easy to come by. Thanks to all the coaches (Tom Gordon, Nick Outram, Nick McDonagh, Kieran Golding, Chris Emes, Ajay Bhatti, Sathiyan Srinivasan, Jason Gibbings, Matt Jones, Dan Finucane) and also to Jason Gibbings (youth Fixtures Sec.) for making these matches happen.
3. The U13's Girls Softball team continued to impress in every match the played. They had some great results and showed skill and spirit that made us all very proud. Thanks to Matt Jones for coaching and managing the girls as well as the girls themselves for the way they play the game - a real credit to themselves and the club. Also thanks to all the parents who supported them. This is a big positive for the future of the club
4. The End of Season Family BBQ saw lots of Parents try to out-do their children in softball Cricket matches. Some more successfully than others.... Again, this event was scaled back to fit into Covid guidelines but thanks to all those who attended and of course those who organised.. it was great to see so many families enjoying themselves at St Sebs on Bank Holiday.
1. Yes, that's correct - we have very recently established a Women's Squad from scratch. An idea that has been emerging for a while finally took off in August with an invitation to express an interest to play. Remarkably we had over 20 ladies keen to give it a try - so rather than wait for next year, we decided to hold some taster sessions this year. So, from nothing a month ago, we now proudly have the "CCW COYOTES" Women's softball team
2. That man Matt Jones offered to coach the ladies and to date we have held 3 training/coaching sessions and believe it or not played in a 4-team tournament at Reading CC just 9 days after the first practice!!. It's safe to say it's exceeded expectations as a concept already and we will work hard over the winter to keep the momentum going into next year! The fact we are still trying to squeeze in some OUTDOOR practice in October tells you something..
3. Please go to the website if you are interested in joining up for next year or even want to help coach etc!
1. None of the above Cricket would have been possible whatsoever without the tireless work of John Cartledge maintaining the ground. John spends countless hours every week looking after the square and preparing pitches for all the above matches to take place. He does this on an entirely voluntary basis. We are hugely grateful to John and his helpers like Jordan Cartledge who give up their time so we can all play. I'd like to personally thank John for preparing some spinning wickets, too!
2. Out of the adversity we found ourselves in, we have made a real success of the Bar this year. "Bo's Bar" and "Bo's Al Fresco Mobile Mini-Bar" were both highly active throughout the Summer. Operating under the obvious constraints of Covid, we were able to have a Bar of some sort open at every opportunity providing refreshments to all. A massive thanks to Bo Taylor for facilitating this with his thirsty band of Bar 'Staff' - Alex Farrell, Ian Tims and Neil Graham. Also thanks to all the members and parents etc who not only supported the club by using the bar, but for also respecting the rules throughout - allowing us to keep operating.
3. Thanks to Kieran Golding and Chris Emes who have helped with our Social Media presence. We have managed to get some good coverage and exposure on Twitter and Instagram in particular. In addition, thanks as ever to Neil Graham of NG Sports Photography for taking some great photos for us. We really appreciate it.
4. We have also installed CCTV at St Sebs to provide safety and security for the site, our people and our assets (and maybe used for filming matches....). Thanks to Ross Chalmers and his team at NextGen Communicaitons for not only facilitating the sourcing and installation but also providing all the labour completely free of charge, giving up their own time to help the club and St Sebastian's in general. NextGen have been a great supporter of the club in recent years - sponsoring the relaying of the square a few years ago for example. As ever, if you work somewhere that may use their services (Fibre optic Cabling, Copper Cabling, Network testing, Wi-fi deployment, CCTV installations and Smart Homes), or know someone who might, please get in contact as it would be great for the club to be able to generate some business for them.
5. As you may know, the Club proudly has the ECB Clubmark accreditation to it's name. A big thanks to Alan McQuitty for facilitating this. There is a lot of thankless work goes on behind the scenes to retain Clubmark - but it's a vital thing for us to have to open up access to funding and support but also to make sure we are running youth cricket in particular in a safe and correct manner.
6. Last but not least, thanks to Kevin Golding, our treasurer, who as ever has kept a tight reign on the money side of things as well as running the "100 Club" and "easyfundraising" activities. Reconciling match fees and chasing non-payers, is really not anyone's idea of fun - not even Kevin's! Moving towards a cashless operation has brought it's own set of teething problems - so big thanks to Kevin for all he does.
1. As we reflect on the strangest of all seasons, we must look to the future. We have a great platform to move this club forwards and have some big plans to do so. If you have any suggestions for how to develop the club further or could be of assistance to the club in any way whatsoever, we'd love to hear from you... Whether you would like to get involved in running any aspect of the club or have an idea to make the bar better (for example) please use our new "Suggestion Box" on the website to submit ideas and/or ways of making them happen. Similarly if you would like to discuss anything to do with the club (either present or future) please do not hesitate to contact me.
2. We hope everyone enjoyed what we offered this year and we will keep everyone posted in the coming weeks with regards to feasibility of Winter Indoor practice etc as and when the Government release updated rules and guidelines.
3. Also we will hold a 'Virtual AGM' and 'Virtual Awards Presentation' (both via Zoom or similar) in the coming weeks - official notification of this will be sent in due course. We would encourage as many members as possible to attend.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the season and massive apologies to anyone I've missed off the list of "Thank you's" !