Pirbright celebrated the amazing growth of their club last Friday as they welcomed ex Sky Sports presenter Jon Desborough as part of his charity walk from Lord’s to Dorset.
Desborough, who is aiming to raise £5000 for Chance to Shine, took a short diversion from his route on the Basingstoke Canal to come and see the impact of Chance to Shine funding on the club just outside Guildford.
The club did not disappoint with well over 100 players representing the different sections of the club on hand to welcome Jon and hear about the journey the club has been on.
Images: David Barter
Initially the Surrey Cricket Foundation supported the creation of a new junior section at the club with a £3000 grant along with support from Participation Officer Mark Babb to get Chance to Shine coaching into the local village primary school.
The funding enabled the club to purchase equipment and train volunteers as coaches and the subsequent growth has been nothing short of remarkable.
In little over 12 months the club now boasts junior boys and girls cricket, a disability section, ladies cricket and the most recent addition is walking cricket with 18 new members participating in the adapted format every week.
Images: David Barter
There are now plans to add a non-turf pitch onto the square as well as replacing their ageing pavilion as they aim to become a true hub of the community, offering cricket for everyone.
Speaking at the event, Assistant Director of Cricket Participation Simon Hards said: “What has been achieved at Pirbright in such a short space of time is truly inspiring. It is a great example of the power of collaboration within cricket with the Foundation providing some funding for equipment and training whilst Chance to Shine has funded schools coaching in the local area.”
“Ultimately though it is the people that have made the difference and the club has transformed into a true community hub offering cricket to almost anyone who wants to play. They should be very proud of what they have achieved and it was great to see Jon Desborough wanting to drop in as part of his fundraising walk for Chance to Shine.’
If you would like to support Jon’s fundraising efforts you can donate here – https://justgiving.com/fundraising/jon-desborough2