Winterbourne’s new nets have been officially opened by Gloucestershire captain Chris Dent and county colleague James Bracey who began his cricket career at the South Gloucestershire village club.
The fully enclosed two-lane facility was funded by the ECB and Gloucestershire Cricket Board with ETS Electrical also sponsoring the project which was further backed by St Michael’s School and South Gloucestershire District Council.
Winterbourne secretary Liz Bracey put in countless hours of work behind the scenes with former chairman Paul Dagger and successor Bob Vickery to make the dream of nets a reality.
She said: “The completion and official opening of our new nets is something that will have a significant affect on the development of our existing players in all areas of our ‘one club’ … juniors, seniors both male and female, and, of course, future generations of Winterbourne cricketers.”
Winterbourne, meanwhile, are hosting a Cricket for Life fundraising day on Sunday.
It has been inspired by 10-year-old junior member Emmanuel Dark’s recovery from non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt Lymphona, an aggressive form of cancer which led to the need for five rounds of chemotherapy, three blood transfusions, three operations and ten lumber punctures during a three-month stay in hospital.
A junior sixes tournament is scheduled for the morning with a senior event following in the afternoon while the club will also be selling tickets for a raffle with prizes including signed bats donated by England and Gloucestershire as well as signed shirts from Gloucestershire and England Women.
Emmanuel, a pupil at Colston’s, is an all-rounder for Winterbourne and the Stroud and South Gloucestershire under-11 district squad.
All money raised is for the Grand Appeal at the Bristol Children’s Hospital. Donations can be made via this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emmanuel-starlight-ward