Chairman Report 2020

Introduction

I am pleased to present this, my first annual report as Chairman and what a year to take up the role, a year like no other we have experienced before. Following on from the successes of 2019 we were looking forward to more of the same in 2020. But along came Covid and we had to deal with a delayed start to a truncated season, with new rules and restrictions and with no promotion or relegation. A season that threatened the future of the game.

Faced by such a challenge, it has been amazing how well the club has come through the year. It has been impressive the way everyone has stayed positive and maintained the spirit within the club and I have been encouraged by how strong the enthusiasm and desire to play cricket has remained right across the club.

We have come through a difficult season with great success.

We have seen more members playing regularly as we put 6 senior teams out most weekends.

We have seen more juniors play in the senior teams

We have seen increased involvement in training and coaching sessions

We have seen more interaction between players across all teams

We have attracted a first-class player into our ranks

We have seen more involvement in off-field activities throughout the year

We have improved our financial position

Reflections on the season

There were many wonderful things that happened during this difficult year and it would take too long to mention all of them or to thank all of the people who helped individually, but I do want to share some reflections with you. First of all, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the sadder side of the pandemic and give our thoughts and wishes to all those who have lost loved ones, to those that have fallen ill, and to those whose lives have been affected in any way as a result of Covid.

We need to remember that this is a punitive disease and the steps taken to defeat it also have consequences. As we move forward, we must remember this and respect the need to keep ourselves and everyone else safe. We should also remember that many G&S players, family members and friends have played their part in helping all of us during the pandemic. Amongst the G&S family we have many key and front-line workers; doctors, nurses, teachers, drivers, shop workers, PPE producers, and many others. We have many parents, whether working, furloughed, or at home, who have been home-schooling. To all of you I offer a massive thank you.

On to the cricket. We were lucky that the summer saw a brief respite from the pandemic as businesses and a form of normal life opened up for a few weeks. But before we even played a game, we were active as a club. Remember the WhatsApp Group quizzes, profiles and general banter, and the May Day 5k. We also had the Crowdfunding campaign. It was a particular pleasure to be involved with this campaign, and it was fun making the video, and what great support we received in raising our target of £5,000.

Then we were able to open up the fully Covid-compliant nets, and the take-up was overwhelming. It helped fill the gap until we could start to play. Anuj, who joined as our club professional, also took advantage of the opportunity to utilise the nets, which enabled many us to get to know him, and his enthusiasm and skill were soon impressing and inspiring players across the club. I particularly enjoyed watching his sessions with the juniors. The nets also saw good commitment to the mid-week training sessions for the first team squad and inspired the establishment of the 2/3s midweek training nights. Hopefully we can develop this area as we go forward.

Eventually cricket returned with a shortened season, 40 overs, Covid rules and no promotion or relegation. Congratulations to all 3 SNCL sides who reached their respective finals, and although all finished runners up, the club can be proud of what we achieved during this difficult season. It is also important that we recognise the club’s achievement in fielding a 4th team on most Saturdays and 2 teams on most Sundays. The Academy coaches provided leadership and coaching for the juniors and managed to arrange a good number of competitive matches. It was great to see the support that they received from the parents and the joy of the youngsters playing a game they love.

Overall, we provided a lot of cricket for a great number of club members in those short weeks of the summer. More importantly, from what I saw those games were played in great spirit and with real enjoyment. Although I know we all missed Steph’s teas, we did survive, and in a difficult year I believe that we have yet again enhanced our reputation as a modern welcoming club that provides and plays good cricket in the right way.

Thanks

I have a long list of people that I would like to thank and although not naming names, here goes.

Firstly, I would like to thank all the members of the committee. They have provided support throughout this season, particularly in ensuring that we were Covid compliant at the start of the season. Each one of them has committed fully to their role on the committee in working in the best interests of the club, and have made themselves available for other tasks that have arisen across the year.

I would like to thank the players, both seniors and juniors, who have committed to turning out for their selected team, for committing themselves to training and most of all for playing the game with intensity and in the right spirit.

I thank all the club coaches for the fantastic work they do with the players, both seniors and juniors. The results of which show in the players’ performances and the manner in which they perform. Their commitment to the players and their desire to encourage each one to be the best player they can be is appreciated across the club. We are very fortunate to have such a skilful and committed team of coaches at this club.

I thank all the parents, family members and friends who have supported their players and the club throughout this season. It has been great to see so many at Regatta Way and we hope that we will be able to entertain you with more than just the cricket in 2021.

I thank all our fantastic sponsors who provide both financial and material support.

I would also like to thank our partners particularly West Bridgford Colts, Nottinghamshire Cricket Board and the ECB, whose help and support has been particularly important throughout last year.

Moving Forward

I know that there is still much uncertainty surrounding the new season, but whatever arrangements are made, I am confident that we will be ready and prepared to continue moving the club onwards and upwards.

In 2020 we faced the challenges presented by the Covid pandemic and still strengthened and improved the club. We improved the playing strength and the financial stability of the club, and we have enhanced our reputation across the county.

It is therefore with a sense of anticipation and excitement that I look forward to working with everyone at the club in the new season. At seeing all of our teams striving for promotion, to witnessing even greater progression of our Academy graduates in their senior cricket careers, and to the continuing success of the Academy.

But most of all I am hoping to see the return of cricket as we used to know it, with supporters enjoying a cuppa and a natter, with breaks between innings involving teas, with long sunny days and handshakes, a hug, and a pint after the match.

Stay safe see you all soon.

Pat Carmody - Chairman