Westquarter & Redding Cricket Club have been short-listed for Local Club of the Year in the Sunday Mail and SportScotland Scottish Sports Awards 2019, due to “impressive community work and inclusiveness”, growing from 40 members to over 200 in the last four years.
Stephen Sutton of Westquarter & Redding Cricket Club tells us what the club has achieved to be in contention for the award:
We have self-funded and project managed a children’s nursery built within the club grounds which enables over 70 families to return to work by providing the community with a much needed facility. In addition, it employs 20 people all from the local area – bringing employment to the local community.
Glenbervie Kindergarden lease the buildings, providing a 52 place nursery for which the rent makes the club financially secure and allows investment in the club and community. In 2015, WRCC received the ‘Biggest Change Makers in Scottish Cricket’ award from Cricket Scotland for this work and securing the clubs future.
Once the club was financially secure, the focus turned to the juniors to ensure that everyone has a chance to take part. The junior section has grown from under 20 to 118 by engaging the whole family and providing a fun, safe environment. The juniors now cover All Stars (5 to 8), Westies (8 to 10), Junior 1 (11 to 12) and Junior 2 (13 to 14) with teams playing against local Forth Valley Clubs at all age levels. For this, the club won Cricket Scotland’s ‘Most Welcoming Cricket Club’ award in 2016, but they haven’t stopped since.
The club continues to remove barriers to participation whether these are financial, social, ethnicity or disability, none of these should be barriers to having fun!
The club self-funded the purchase of a table tennis table and table cricket set to support children and adults with disabilities allowing them to take part in table cricket. They have run several table cricket events in conjunction with Graham Harvey of Forth Valley Disability Sports and Cricket Scotland.
In order to provide an opportunity to children who wouldn’t normally be reached by All Stars and other regular programmes, the club worked with Lisa Male (Active Schools Disability Co-ordinator) to provide 4 weeks of cricket coaching to the Enhanced Provision Class at Easter Carmuirs school. Based on these sessions, WRCC approached Cricket Scotland to set up EP All Stars to bring cricket to the enhanced provision students and those from areas of deprivation. The programme started in August costing £10 rather than the usual £40 with the club giving up it’s £5 and the remaining funding being provided by Beyond Boundaries. The pilot in 2019 provided the full All Stars experience to the Enhanced Provision class at Easter Carmuirs who used school funds to cover the cost making it free to those taking part.
This work with Cricket Scotland will now be rolled out across Scotland in 2020 and be part of their disability plan to be delivered by 4 regional hubs with WRCC supporting one in the Forth Valley.
Late last year the club identified a lack of groups in the Braes area of Falkirk supporting people with Dementia so they contacted Alzheimer Scotland. On the back of this, the Try Something New group for people living with dementia and their carers was set up. This year the club has run free sessions covering cricket, archery, petanque, chair yoga, photography, tennis, ballroom dancing, Italian, dementia dogs and tai chi. The rest of 2019 will see indoor curling in November and indoor bowls and dominoes in December as well as coffee and mince pies.
The work done with the Try Something New group by WRCC was recognised recently when the group was nominated and then chosen as a finalist in the Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative at the Scottish Dementia Awards 2019.
The club have more plans for the future and are currently working with Sported to create a funding strategy and plan for a community building at the club.
If you would like to find out more about us, please come along to the club or get in touch at Stephen.Sutton@wrcc.org.uk.