As October’s go, it wasn’t such a bad one really with the accolades we have received during the month which all started at the Cheshire County League dinner. Before I talk about the award we picked up, full credit must go to Toft CC for the way they put on the event which was a lot better than previous dinners I’ve attended. But onto the award we picked up – whilst I had an inkling we may be in line for something (as Ian Sharrock had sent both Tom Marsland and I a message suggested we might want to attend!!), it was still a bit of a surprise when we were announced as the “Most improved club” in the County League. What makes me extremely proud about this award is that it reflects us as a club and is more than just on field recognition of the great season had by the 1’s and 2’s. It was clear in the introduction we received that the work we have done off the field was recognised. So then we moved on to the Wirral Sports Forum the following week and for our first flirtation with this organisation I must say I was really impressed with the evening - and that’s not just because it started with a buffet!!. In our category (Sports club of the year), we were up against some really strong competition from a boccia & taekwondo club – for those unaware, boccia is played by participants in a wheelchair and is related to bowls and petanque. Standing on the stage listening to the introductions for the other nominees my main thoughts were to make sure I was gracious in defeat and congratulated the winner, but the look of shock when our name was called out as the winner must have been a picture. Once again, this award signifies what we as a whole club have achieved and one we should be rightly proud of. On the back of this event, I’ve taken the plunge and have joined the Wirral Sports Forum and will report back in due course after the first meeting I attend in a few weeks’ time. Finally, the awards concluded a week or so back with the Cheshire Cricket League dinner which I was unfortunately unable to attend as I was entrusted with looking after the kids as Mrs Lamb was away for the weekend. Once again we walked away with a host of awards with the 3rd XI picking up the Division B West trophy, Ian Sharrock picking up the bowling award for his 57 wickets and Graeme McGowan being awarded the batting award having amassed 840 runs. All in all, not a bad year across the whole club!!!
You’ll have hopefully seen via the club website that we have published the results of the survey we ran throughout September (click HERE to view if you haven’t seen the results) and I was absolutely delighted with the number of responses we received. When I compiled the questions (whilst lying on my sun lounger in Tunisia!!) my expectations were that we’d get about a dozen responses, so to get seventy four was a phenomenal achievement. What also impressed me was the constructive nature of the responses as they’ve been really helpful in our understanding of what our members think about the various aspects of the Club. As I say in the preamble at the start of survey results, the actions on the back of the responses do fall on the shoulders of our volunteers so please bear that in mind if we don’t do things as quickly as you’d like but we will do our very best to rise to the challenge.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been involved in a couple of meetings as we look ahead. First of all myself, Pete Clark and Dave Smith had a “Hot Pot” planning session which was fuelled by an extremely hearty breakfast (thanks Sue!). Whilst most people turn up on the night and just see the end product, there is so much prep work going in behind the scenes to make all this happen and with this years format changing with all captains speaking, the logistics and timing for the night have to be so precise. Add to this how much we’ve won this year it’s all set to be an absolutely superb night and one I very much look forward to, not lease because once I’ve said ‘grace’ I can sit back and enjoy the night as it unfolds! The next meeting I had (which wasn’t supported by any food unfortunately) was to discuss Sunday cricket and how it fits in with the development of our players as well as providing the right opportunities for those players who don’t play Saturday league cricket. Whilst he is standing down as captain, John Winder’s input into these discussions were invaluable as were those of Matt Owen (Junior Cricket Chairman) and Nigel Sharrock in his first official meeting as Cricket Chairman. What we concluded on was that in it’s current guise, the Sunday 1st XI fixture list serves it’s purpose well as a team to introduce our junior players to their first taste of senior cricket, and we will look to compliment the fixture list with a number of ‘academy’ fixtures to try and fill as many of the spare Sunday’s.
Looking further ahead, my focus moves on to a couple of different areas - but both interlinked. Firstly, the Annual General Meeting on 6th December where I’m just about to start preparing my Chairman’s Report. It’s a case of “where do I start?” as there’s so much to talk about which is a very nice problem to have. Whilst it’s important to review what we’ve achieved during 2018, the focus will be on how we build on this and continue in the Club’s development and our plans for the future. The second part of this feeds very nicely in to my AGM prep as I sit down with the Governing Committee members responsible for each area (Cricket, Grounds, Bar, House, Finance, Communications) and we re-visit the five year strategic plan we incepted last year and we update this for the next five years. Once we have the plan updated and agreed by the Governing Committee I’ll make sure this is shared with you so you can see what the plans are.
So, to conclude another busy month with plenty to celebrate I stumbled across a quote from the great Pele which sums up very nicely where we are – “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”