SHAPWICK & Polden Cricket Club has launched a ‘Covid Recovery Fund’ - and raised more than £11,000 inside seven days!

The club, which is based in the Polden Hills and was formed in 2014 from a merger between the Ashcott & Shapwick and Chilton Polden clubs, fields three Saturday men’s teams, with the 1st XI competing in the West of England Premier League.

It also runs a Sunday XI and has had an “encouraging response” to its aspirations to form a women’s team in 2021.

Pre-pandemic, the club had around 90 juniors and it also took part in the ECB All Stars programme for young cricketers.

However, the disruption caused by a delayed start to the 2020 season and the restrictions that were in place thereafter impacted the club’s finances, with “significantly reduced” levels of income from membership subscriptions, match fees, sponsorship and fundraising events.

While income fell, outgoings did not, as spending on ground maintenance rose, due to the need to replace sightscreen panels and to buy a roller.

And while it is hoped that there will be a full season in 2021, the Covid-19 restrictions which are likely to remain for the start of the summer will mean the club having to invest in additional outside facilities for players and supporters.

The need for these facilities, new equipment and a low fence to prevent balls escaping on the southern boundary means that the club is looking to raise £12,500.

With rewards such as match sponsorship, a handmade bat, and playing and training kit on offer, 95 supporters had contributed £11,826 to the cause at the time of writing.

The club said it was “amazed at all your generosity”, adding: “Thank you all so much - this will make a massive difference to all our players, juniors and spectators”.

Further details can be found at the fundraising page here.


n BRIDGWATER Cricket Club has announced the appointment of Rob Hake as its new head groundsman.

Hake, who spent the last 15 years working for Somerset County Cricket Club - largely based at Taunton Vale, the home of Somerset’s 2nd XI and Taunton Cricket Club’s teams - starts the role on April 1.

Hake tweeted: “I just want to say a big thank you for this amazing opportunity and for all the messages and support.

“I can’t wait to get started.”