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Harlow cricketers bowled over by award

An Essex cricket club has transformed its bar’s outside seating space to counter Covid-19 restrictions after help from a local power company.

From News & press - 16 April 2021 12:00 AM

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Harlow Cricket Club has received a £250 Team Sport Award from UK Power Networks, the company which distributes electricity across the East of England.

Employee Craig Messenger, whose 23-year-old son Jake captains the club’s first XI, applied for the award which will be used to buy new picnic tables so that refreshments for spectators can more easily be served outside.

The club’s finances have been impacted by coronavirus restrictions forcing both a break in play and the cancellation of a series of fundraising events, but Craig, who is on the club’s committee and also helps runs its website, is optimistic about the future.

Craig, who works as a first responder for any power cuts, said: “Due to Covid-19, the club has had a huge loss of revenue due to cancelled events and hires through winter months and has managed to survive through various grants received. The new picnic tables for the clubhouse mean we can better cope with doing outside table service when required. With the purchase we will now have the extra seating capacity for members outside until such time as we can open and serve everyone inside.

“Like a lot of sports clubs across Essex and around the country Covid has had a huge impact on finances and I suspect some may close and never open again. 

“As a club we have big insurance premiums still to pay as well as general bills for rates and utilities so any funds and grants raised are a huge asset and help for the club meaning we are grateful to UK Power Networks for this donation.”

The Team Sport Award scheme encourages UK Power Networks staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. During 2020, more than 60 teams benefitted to a combined sum of £15,500.