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One challenge that many clubs are facing during the lockdown period is maintaining engagement with members. It is very important that communication with members is regular and ideally a mixture of formal and informal.

Since the beginning of lockdown  many clubs across the County have done this superbly and have come up with innovative ways of staying in touch that puts a smile on people’s faces

Below are some ideas and examples to help keep all your members engaged with cricket and connected with your club:

To start we want to give a few shout outs to some clubs who have being doing some great things to engage and connect with their club:

Bath CC – Led by their captain Sam Mount they  raising money for Mind by getting “Back in the Middle for Mind” by running 22 yard shuttles for every run, wicket and wicket keeping dismissal from the 2019 season, inside, in the street and wherever you can! Full kit, whites and a bat is encouraged.

Frome Cricket Club- Have started a podcast reviewing their 2019 season  

Hinton Charterhouse- have carried out virtual meetings discussing all things cricket, whilst being joined by different pros 

OBWCC have gone though the archives and are reliving their games against the sides they were due to be playing each Saturday 

Wembdon Cricket Club- Top Trumps style player profiles have been created for players past and present and are being released daily  

Weston-super-Mare CC have been particularly good at regular communication with members.

Keeping your club running – Sport England are providing lots of helpful tips on how to keep your club running during this difficult period, with tips on running virtual meetings and on keeping in touch with members.  The case studies featured may be of some use, including a blog entry for coaches at your club. Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership also have an extensive web page of support for running a club during Covid-19: https://www.sasp.co.uk/workforce-and-covid-19

Social media – keep your social media accounts up to date with information and content for all followers. As well as spreading news, social media is an excellent way of promoting some cricket skills and fun challenges that all members can take part in at home  These could range from drills to keep everyone’s eye in, to our very own ‘Pass the Ball’ challenge getting all ages involved. Taunton St Andrews Ladies and Bedminster CC’s pass the ball challenge were particularly impressive. Through social media we have seen clubs sharing scorecards from previous seasons to celebrate past successes and performances, Clubs playing “virtual cricket” using games such as Don Bradman Cricket & Cricket 19 then streaming the games for members to watch.

Social events – In the pre-season period it is likely that most clubs would be starting to come together in a more social capacity. One way of doing this could be using Zoom to hold a quiz night to bring everyone together (the main picture on this article is from Clevedon CC’s Zoom quiz) or using the myQuiz website. We have seen clubs holding virtual race night which also can raise money for clubs at this time. These events can be used to check in on members as well as raising morale and enjoying each other’s company.

Staying active – One thing that has been of importance to many people during this time has been to remain active. Sport England has the initiative #StayInWorkOut to help keep us all active whilst we are stuck at home. This has plenty of different resources for all abilities to stay active. With plenty of different apps available, competitions could be made, e.g. team challenges on Strava etc.

Charity – There are many local charities and those supporting the NHS that always welcome support, this could in the form of doing something active (Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5) or something bolder, such as a head shave like Bridgwater CC

Play-Cricket -Over the course of the next few weeks ECB will be sharing thier latest videos, content and updates with the recreational cricket family over email and across our social media channels. They recognise that there is a nervousness from clubs that they may lose contact with their club members during this time and we want to do everything we can to help keep cricket at the forefront of their minds.

We’d encourage you and your networks to follow our social media channels below, and to remind your cricketers that whilst they may normally receive their weekly stats via player-comms, if they haven’t opted in to marketing communications we sadly won’t be able to continue to communicate with them whilst there is no cricket. For those who are opted-in, an example of the types of communications we are sharing can be found here. This will be sent on Saturday morning.

Please do share the opt-in link above and visit the Facebook page via the link: https://ecb-comms.co.uk/1FT6-6VE30-WPJD1E-422US9-1/c.aspx 

Help your club out – For when the cricket season finally returns, why not get as many people at your club as possible doing some online training?

  • The ECB have launched a Free Umpiring & Scoring Courses including the Stage 1 Umpiring Course. These are a good opportunity for some training for any Seniors, Juniors or Parents at clubs who may already umpire or score, or for those who wish to in the future when we are back playing: https://www.somersetcricketboard.co.uk/free-online-officials-training/
  • The Grounds Management Association (GMA) have a range of training courses that are suitable for the professional to the grass roots volunteer and have launched a new online Level 1 module on Cricket Grounds Maintenance to allow you to gain an awareness and general understanding of the tasks involved in maintaining playing surfaces. For more info and booking visit: https://portal.iog.org/education/course/379841
  • ECB recently announced updates to the fantastic iCoach Cricket resource which your coaches should certainly take a look at to learn some new drills to try with your players.
  • Those most passionate about developing players should consider becoming an ECB Coaching Ambassador which can now be accessed via a 40-minute e-learning module
  • There are also courses available to develop your coaching skills with UK Coaching who have temporarily unlocked their 10 most valuable subscriber resources to help you continue to grow your skills during this time  – https://www.ukcoaching.org/ and a variety of sport related course available with The Open University (free courses) – https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full- catalogue

Coach Development during COVID-19 with icoachcricket- As part of our response to the cancellation and postponement of face-to-face programmes and workshops ECB have launched a series of coaching webinars, held every Thursday afternoon.The webinars have allowed ECB to continue developing and supporting coaches at what would have been a busy period both locally and nationally. So far Jane Powell, Ashley Giles and Peter Such have been their guests – the recordings are available in the Kitbag area of icoachcricket here. Their next icoachcricket Live will be held at 2.00pm on Thursday 21st May and features Vicky Macqueen, founder of Didi Rugby and former England rugby international, sharing her insights into coaching young children, how to involve parents in sessions and what this may begin to look like as we return to a ‘new normal’.

Register here to secure your place or contact coachdevelopment@ecb.co.uk for more information.

Please stay in touch with us and let us know of any other clubs who you think are doing a great job of staying in touch with their players and members so we can keep on sharing best practice. Please contact emily.vickery@somersetcricketboard.org.