Cricket club’s flood cash will benefit junior teams

FUNDING BOOST Upper Hopton Cricket Club has received an �18k grant from Sport England.
FUNDING BOOST Upper Hopton Cricket Club has received an �18k grant from Sport England.
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A cricket club has seen its junior teams blossom as more youngsters head for the wickets.

And the next generation of cricketers will also benefit from an £18,000 grant to improve the club’s playing fields.

Upper Hopton Cricket Club has been awarded Sports England funding for a new drainage system at the Sutcliffe Memorial Ground in Jackroyd Lane, where the club is based.

Waterlogged pitches at the site, the only playing fields in Upper Hopton, have caused some matches and training sessions to be postponed.

But the new drainage system will mean young cricket players will always have a place to sharpen their skills.

President Neil Jaggar has seen the junior section expand from two teams to five since taking the role seven years ago.

The club, which is over 100 years old, boasts under-nines, under-11s, teams of under-13s, under 15s and under 17s playing in the Fosters Halifax Cricket League.

And their weekly practice nights can see around 60 youngsters on the pitch training.

The club has invested in coaching training for some of its members, with former junior players passing on their knowledge to younger cricketers.

He said: “We want to keep the momentum going so that we see kids coming in at the younger ages, we’re looking to expand the teams.”

All junior teams except the under 17s practice on Tuesdays at 6pm and welcome new players.