Open day at Butterley Utd

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Butterley United are one of the oldest cricket clubs in Derbyshire and secretary Glyn Hubbard hopes their upcoming ECB Club Open Day will help them attract more members and ensure their future is secure for years to come.

Last year’s victorious Ashes summer attracted 310 clubs nationwide to take part in the ECB Club Open Days scheme, with double the number already signed up this season.

One of those is Ripley-based Butterley United and they are encouraging the community to come out in full force on Sunday, August 24.

The 136-year-old club have put their own spin on the event, holding a festival of cricket throughout the day with games ranging from Kwik Cricket for younger attendees up to hardball matches for adults.

Butterley held a similar event last year and the success of that enabled them to put out two junior sides at U11 and U15 level this season, and Glyn Hubbard hopes this year’s event will allow them to further expand the junior section in addition to putting out a community side on a Sunday.

“We’re a small club that’s trying to build and there are quite a few other clubs in the area so there’s a bit of a battle on to recruit members so we hope this day can help us make more people aware of who we are and where we are in the community,” Hubbard said.

“We want to get as many people in the community playing cricket so the idea of the Sunday side is that it doesn’t matter how good you are, we’re just happy to give people a game of cricket. Hopefully we can improve the social side of things because too many people just sit at home and don’t get to know their neighbours or their community. Some of the lads in the first team have played since the 1980s and would like to see the next generation coming through.”

Former England captain and the ECB’s managing director of cricket partnerships Mike Gatting is fully behind the scheme, adamant the ECB Club Open Day allows Butterley United to showcase what they do in their community and encourage others to help out.

n The ECB Club Open Days, in partnership with Waitrose, is a nationwide initiative that aims to help boost grassroots cricket participation by encouraging clubs to open their pavilion doors and welcome guests from their local community for a day. Find out when your local Club Open Day is by visiting www.ecb.co.uk/clubopendays