NEWTON Hill Cricket Club may be used to appealing on the wicket but they’re now appealing off it in a bid to raise £100,000 for a new clubhouse.
The Leeds Road club is in desperate need to improve its facilities and match its aspirations of becoming a big part of the local community.
The club’s four cricket teams - two junior and two senior - currently have to make use of facilities that have no electricity, outdoor toilets and a leaking roof in the changing rooms.
But junior coach Lee Birmingham has made it his mission to help raise the money required to bring the clubhouse up-to-date.
“We know there’s going to be no fairy godmother coming and helping us, it’s going to be a lot of hard work,” he said.
“But I’m determined not to walk away from the club without that clubhouse being in place.
“It’d be great for the club and it’d also be great for the community. We’re the only sports team in the village [of Newton Hill] and it’d be great to be integrated even more by providing a new clubhouse for people to come along and use.”
Birmingham and his cricket-mad family won the Clydesdale Bank 40 (CB40) Family of the Year award for their services to Newton Hill [not Nostell CC as wrongly reported in last week’s Express].
Their reward was £500 in cash and an ECB Cricket Factory training event, held at Newton Hill Junior and Infant School, where the club launched its clubhouse appeal.
Clydesdale Bank have also pledged their help in promoting fundraising events.
They’re looking to raise the money through grants, sponsorship deals, donations and other fundraising methods, including a sportsman’s dinner and sponsored bike ride next year.
And Birmingham hopes a newly-negotiated lease of their home base from Parkside Methodist Church will help them acquire the grants they need.
“We’d had a few applications for grants rejected before because we hadn’t tied down the long-term lease of the ground,” he said.
“Now we’ve managed to get a ten-year lease with the option of another ten, one year of which we’ve already had, so we should have the land for 19 years. It should be more favourable in our future applications.”
The club is in the process of having plans drawn up for their new clubhouse.
But although they’d like it up and running as soon as possible, they’re not putting a time frame on it.
“I’d love to have raised the money and have it up next year but I’m realistic,” said Birmingham.
“We have a three to five year plan to continue the upward progression of the club”
Anyone wanting to help out should contact Lee Birmingham on 07967 452716 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest sports news from around the district.