Cricket Club Issue 41 - Page 44

Alvechurch & Hopwood FOLLOW US ONLINE TWITTER.COM/CRICKETCLUBMAG “Despite being a village club, Alvechurch regularly runs four senior teams on Saturdays, two on a Sunday and has youth teams competing in leagues from under 9’s up to under 16’s.” Hopwood Veterinary Centre We provide the following services: Appointments with the vet Surgery including orthopaedic referral Nurse clinics Puppy parties and weight clinics Emergency service out of hours provided Tel : 0121 453 1006 1-3 Hillside Court, 498-500 Lickey Road, Cofton Hackett, Birmingham B45 8UU the situation at the club’s second ground two miles up the road at Hopwood (the neighbouring clubs of Alvechurch and Hopwood having merged back in 1990). Hopwood - with its stunning bucolic vista, amphitheatre-like setting, huge boundaries and bowler-friendly uneven wickets – is less loved by batsmen and the willow-wielders regularly traipse the long ignominious walk to and from the wicket having barely troubled the scorers. The club has for a while recognised that in order to retain its players and encourage new joiners it has to have a flourishing youth section and be more than just a sporting respite for members once a week for five months of the year. To this end, Alvechurch hosts a plethora of social events and gatherings throughout the year, targeted variously at both younger and older members. It runs golf days, cricket tours, quizzes, paintball days and golfing weekends, hosts former player reunions, 44 Issue 41 charity events and recently played host when it’s under 11 star Finlay Church smashed the world teddy bear record as part of his fundraising efforts for Birmingham Children’s Hospital (www. operationteddybear.co.uk). Despite being a village club, Alvechurch regularly runs four senior teams on Saturdays, two on a Sunday and has youth teams competing in leagues from under 9’s up to under 16’s. If the recent history of the Australian national cricket team is littered with silverware, Alvechurch’s is an altogether more environmentally-friendly, near litter-free affair. There hasn’t been a huge demand for Brasso at the Birmingham Road ground of late but there are now genuine grounds for optimism. Over the last decade the club has invested heavily in training up players to acquire ECB coaching qualifications to help bring on its youngsters, attained Clubmark accreditation and significantly raised the club’s profile in the local area by running recruitment campaigns and playing host to a number of key community events. The club has succeeded in attracting a number of good quality senior players in the past four years and now has some excellent youngsters coming through the youth ranks. A burgeoning, vibrant youth section augurs well for the club’s senior teams over the coming seasons. Under the impassioned leadership of new club skipper Matt Hayward the senior sides have been reinvigorated this summer and there is a real sense of optimism and purpose around the club. The first team has started the 2015 season well, undefeated at the time of going to print and nestling in the promotion places in Division 3 of the Worcestershire League. The Brasso isn’t yet on order but Alvechurch’s future looks bright.