Stradbroke looking for new players at Open Day

NO GAME: Stradbroke Cricket Club players Owen Morgan, Alan Hutchison, Fergus Morgan and Michael Hugman turned up for practice on Saturday after their scheduled game was conceded by their opponents DBSL
NO GAME: Stradbroke Cricket Club players Owen Morgan, Alan Hutchison, Fergus Morgan and Michael Hugman turned up for practice on Saturday after their scheduled game was conceded by their opponents DBSL
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Stradbroke Cricket Club chairman Michael Hugman is hoping to attract new players to the club during the village’s Open Sports Day tomorrow.

The cricket club are one of several sports clubs who will be inviting both adults and children to visit them this weekend and give their sport a go, in an initiative being led by Stradbroke Parish Council.

Along with the cricket club, Stradbroke’s football, youth football, bowls (District and White Heart), petanque, tennis and table tennis clubs will be taking part in the event.

The Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre will also be open for people of all ages, and fitness or skill levels, to try out taster sessions, in what promises to be a great family day out.

Hugman, who along with being the chairman of Stradbroke Cricket Club, also holds the positions of groundsman, press officer and opening batsman for the first team, hopes the event will help to increase numbers in the village’s sports clubs.

“The Open Day was the parish council’s idea,” he explains.

“There’s been a lot of new blood elected on to the council, including some younger people who are interested in sport.

“They want sport to flourish in the village. The Open Day is an exercise which needed to be done.

“It will all be held on the same site, as we’ll be on the playing field on the cricket pitch, and there’s also the tennis going on, badminton in the community centre as well.

“We’re running it for adults and children to come and have a look and give it a try, the Open Day idea is new to us all.

“But the aim for us is to try and attract new players to the club. If we can find one adult to take up cricket it will have been worth running.”

Stradbroke Cricket Club’s first team play in Division Nine East of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship and currently sit in second place in the table.

However, despite their lofty position in the division, all of Stradbroke’s three wins so far this season have come via concessions from their opponents, who have sadly been unable to raise a side.

It is a frustrating situation for Hugman and his fellow players, who are without a game this weekend due to there being an odd number of teams in the league.

“We’re struggling to get a side together ourselves,” he said. “Three out of our six games now have been conceded because the other team haven’t been able to get a side together, and these are all from teams who have bigger catchment areas than us.

“Unless you play then you find other things to do. It’s too stop-start at the moment and the fear is we’ll lose players from the game. That’s our biggest worry.

“You spend all week getting a team together and then you have the rug pulled from under you at the 11th hour.”

The first ever Stradbroke Sports Open Day is being held in the village tomorrow from 10am to 3pm and will be based from the Stradbroke Community Centre (IP21 5JN).