Norwich on a roll after grant boost for grounds

Norwich Cricket Club have received a major boost as they embark on a new season - thanks to a National Lottery-funded grant project. For many years the club has battled with ageing and unreliable equipment in order to prepare their grounds - but that is soon to change.

Norwich Cricket Club have received a major boost as they embark on a new season - thanks to a National Lottery-funded grant project.

For many years the club has battled with ageing and unreliable equipment in order to prepare their grounds - but that is soon to change. With the assistance and advice of Keith Sutton from Norfolk County Council's Active Norfolk department, and support of the Norfolk Cricket Board, the club have been successful in obtaining a grant from Sport England enabling them to buy a new roller for their Postwick ground, and new cutters at both Ingham and Postwick.

Peter Staniland, grounds chairman for Norwich CC, said the grant will make a huge difference. "The words 'ancient' or 'vintage' spring to mind when trying to describe our current Stothert and Pitt RD32 roller," he said. "I believe it was purchased in the mid-1980's after a previous long life in civil engineering. Although it has given us tremendous service it has become a two-man job to start and continually needs repairing.

"Both the roller and cutters were giving us a real headache because every year they were costing us a lot of money in repairs. We are really grateful to Sport England as the grant means we have been able to identify new equipment which will be far more reliable and cost effective."

Club chairman Paul Borrett added that the grant will not only benefit Norwich but also the wider community: "The equipment will benefit not only our own club members and visiting teams but also junior coaching and other users of the pitches. It will provide opportunities for the wider community to enjoy enhanced facilities while hopefully encouraging more membership," he said.

Chris Perks, Sport England's regional lead for the east, said: "Cricketers of all abilities need the best possible facilities so that they can play and compete to their full potential. The equipment Norwich will be able to purchase means they can continue to provide and prepare quality playing surfaces, safe in the knowledge they will have new and reliable machinery.

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"Equally, if a person is trying cricket for the first time they are more likely to want to take the sport up on a regular basis if they know they are being given access to the best possible facilities."

As well as their EAPL side, Norwich run two further teams on a Saturday, plus a Sunday and mid-week team, while also running a ladies' section and a vibrant youth coaching set-up.

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