There are over 2,500 registered cricket players in Cornwall with at least the same number of officials, volunteers and supporters across the 70 Clubs in the County. The structure of the coaching network within the County supports new and emerging cricketers from pre-school age upwards and the coaching and technical sessions overseen by the Cornwall Cricket Board at its specialist Cricket Centre in Truro attracts an annual footfall of over 13,000.
Many of the Clubs sit at the heart of their local village communities and the Board is keen to ensure that this traditional model (with the Clubs playing a key role in binding community life together) stays alive notwithstanding the growing number of competing activities and the obvious financial challenges. In its role of promoter of the sport in the County, the Board is proud that the values of cricket (playing as part of a team, supporting colleagues, fostering team spirit, building discipline etc) continue to serve as exemplars for life outside the game.
The Need for New Funding – Why Now?
Like all County Cricket Boards, Cornwall Cricket is predominately funded by grant income received either from Sport England or from the Chance to Shine cricketing charity. This funding enables us to support many, but by no means all, areas of cricket within the County. Amongst other areas, the Board is keen to provide financial support to help keep the club community afloat as well as being able to offer more comprehensive coaching facilities for youth development. We also want to do more to develop women’s and girl’s cricket and to provide opportunities for disability cricket to flourish.
Our current funding model does not allow us to fund all pillars of the sport in the County and there is a clear need to attract additional funds to enable us to provide the support which is needed. In 2015, the Board launched a Crowdfunder campaign aimed at raising funds to enable clubs to renew equipment, repair or rebuild Clubhouses etc. Although this campaign has so far raised over £40,000 for 12 Clubs we need to do more, not least of all to ensure that we are “future proofed” against the risk of reduced funding from our traditional sources. Sport England funding is geared to the number of participants in each sport and cricket, in common with other sports, has suffered a “drop off” in player participation in recent years. If this trend continues, Sport England has warned that central funding may reduce in the years after 2017.
It was against this backdrop that the Cornwall Cricket Trust was born. The Trust’s ultimate aim is to put cricket in the Duchy on a firm financial footing so that the future of the game in Cornwall is secured for the foreseeable future. We want to keep our club network alive and thriving, ensuring that all aspiring cricketers have the chance to participate in the game we love.