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Cricket club to revamp pavilion to support female participation

PUBLISHED: 17:33 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 22:20 05 February 2020

Hope Buxton and Niamh Rushton, both 11, young players at Great Melton CC. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.

Hope Buxton and Niamh Rushton, both 11, young players at Great Melton CC. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.

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A Norfolk cricket club is to make a number of female-friendly improvements to its “under-pressure” pavilion in order to make it better suited to cope with the number of ladies and girls using the facilities.

Hope Buxton and Niamh Rushton, both 11, young players at Great Melton CC. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.Hope Buxton and Niamh Rushton, both 11, young players at Great Melton CC. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.

Great Melton Cricket Club, based in the parish, close to Hethersett, has been proactive in encouraging female participation in the sport in recent years, and has had competitive female players since 1999.

Now, around a third of the juniors who attend cricket coaching each Friday night are girls, and 19 members out of 52 at the bowls club - who share the pavilion - are female.

However, this - along with the pavilion's year-round use for community and church events - has put considerable strain on the building, which has only a single female toilet that doubles as a disabled facility.

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In order to move forward, the club submitted a planning application in December to extend and improve the pavilion, which was approved by South Norfolk Council in December 2019.

Club co-founder Alan Barnard presenting a junior award to Aimee Palmer in 2015. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.Club co-founder Alan Barnard presenting a junior award to Aimee Palmer in 2015. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.

Great Melton CC now have permission to extend the building, replace windows, add solar panels to the roof on the south and west-facing sides of the building and make internal and external alterations, including the addition of two extra toilets as well as a changing room and shower facilities for the girls.

Maxine Rushton of Great Melton CC said: "We are trying to make improvements to the pavilion to include female toilets and changing rooms as well as general improvements to the club room, solar panels and heating to make the building more sustainable.

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"We are hoping to raise £5,000 through our crowdfunding appeal, with another £5,000 during the season in fundraising events, the biggest being our 75-hour net session taking place across the VE Day bank holiday weekend.

"We are also hoping to attract sponsorship from local businesses to put up signs, sponsor shirts, balls, stumps and so on."

Landowner Sir Edward Evans-Lombe and his president's team in the first match at the club when it opened in 1993. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.Landowner Sir Edward Evans-Lombe and his president's team in the first match at the club when it opened in 1993. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.

Mrs Rushton also said that they are not yet sure of the exact amount the refurbishment will cost, but estimated that it is "likely to be in the region of £70,000-80,000".

The club has launched a crowdfunding appeal to kick-start their fundraising efforts, and are encouraging anyone who feels they can help them to make contact via the cricket club's website.

The pavilion at Great Melton Cricket Club will be revamped in order to provide better facilities for the number of ladies and girls that use the facilities. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.The pavilion at Great Melton Cricket Club will be revamped in order to provide better facilities for the number of ladies and girls that use the facilities. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.

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The pavilion at Great Melton Cricket Club will be revamped in order to provide better facilities for the number of ladies and girls that use the facilities. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.The pavilion at Great Melton Cricket Club will be revamped in order to provide better facilities for the number of ladies and girls that use the facilities. Picture: Great Melton Cricket Club.


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