May 132015

Not content with just helping the club on the field, our England and LCB Thunder bowler has big plans to improve the club off it as well.

Kate Cross has helped put Heywood Cricket Club on the map in recent months with her progress in the game. The 23 year old played a major role in helping England retain the Ashes in Australia last winter and is one of the first 18 English women to become a full time professional cricketer.

She has recently helped break new ground by becoming the first woman to play in the Central Lancashire League when she took 3-19 against Clifton in the opening game of the season. Last weekend she returned the astonishing figures of 8-47 against Unsworth in only her fourth outing for the 1st XI and the achievement made news headlines not just in the national press in this country but also in Australia.

Kate with (l-r) Emily Carter, Abi Henson & Olivia Thomas-Corns

Kate with (l-r) Emily Carter, Abi Henson & Olivia Thomas-Corns

And now Kate has plans to ensure that the next generation of girls at Heywood are able to fully enjoy their pathway into the sport by helping the club to build a new changing room block that will gives those girls proper facilities to allow them to participate fully.

The club, like many others, currently has two changing rooms and an umpires changing room and cannot offer adequate facilities to match the needs of a female in a men’s side or a junior in a senior side. Similarly the existing facilities are not suitable for any players with disabilities.

Kate says: “Having grown up at Heywood I have been given an incredible amount of support, opportunity and enjoyment and I felt that it was now my turn to give something back.”

“The club has Emily Carter, Abi Henson and Olivia Thomas-Corns at various age groups in the Lancashire system and it is amazing that these girls can now see a genuine pathway through the sport all the way to a professional opportunity at the very top.”

“The ECB are continuing to invest in the Women’s game and it seems likely that the county game will see significant investment and improvement in the coming years.”

“I am thrilled to be able to help the club build a new facility that will give these girls an amazing environment in which to start that cricketing journey.”

The club are working with local building company Pennine Timber Frame and plans are already in place for the new building which will be sited between the pavilion and the scorebox. The building will closely match the fantastic facility recently built at Bury Cricket Club.

The new pavilion at Bury CC

The new pavilion at Bury CC

The new building will contain three player changing rooms as well as an umpires changing area, a player and spectator tea room and a kitchen.

Funding for the building will be partly via a Member’s Loan Scheme, something that worked very well over the last few years to help the club pay off the loan to the brewery. The remaining cost will be met through a “buy a brick” scheme, donations and fundraising that Kate plans to get heavily involved in.

Club Chairman John Rhodes said, “I am absolutely delighted that Kate has taken the initiative and is helping to drive this project. The club is very proud of her achievements and of the fact we are playing a role in what is such an exciting time for the women and girl’s game. We are also delighted that Emily, Abi and Olivia continue to progress and develop both at the club and within the Lancashire age group program.”

“Kate’s profile will allow those that support the project access to national and local publicity and as a club we will be looking to local businesses and tradesmen to engage in fitting out the new facility once the building itself is constructed.”

“This project could not be timed better with the club in it’s 150th anniversary year and so many members and former players coming back on June 12th for our marquee dinner. The fact that it coincides with an Ashes year adds to it all and we will of course be hoping that Kate will once again be lining up against the Aussies later in the summer!”

“The Member’s Loan Scheme will be launched in the coming weeks and will will be looking to members to support the club as we seek to continue to make these improvements, work that will ensure the sustainability of the club for future generations.”

Anyone wishing to learn more about the project or find out how you can get involved please contact Bobby Cross by email or on 01706 623513.

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  4 Responses to “Changing Times For Heywood Girls”

  1. HI
    Heywood was my home town.
    The last time I was on the ground Garfied Sobers was playing professional for Radcliffe
    I now live near Inverness, I was quite surprised when watching Sky Sports to hear the name Heywood Cricket Club mentioned. Your female player Kate Cross has certainly made the headlines in the men’s game. The only other women to break into the men’s game seems to be Sarah Taylor. who played club cricket in Yorshirhire, and is tipped to play for Sussex second 11

  2. Hello Lawrence. If the last time you were at Crimble Gary was playing for Radcliffe that had to be either 1959 or 1960. Keith Slater 59 Dee in 60. I played on both occasions. Bob Cross – Kate’s uncle. Kate’s dad David West Ham United. F A cup winner 1980. Keep in touch.

  3. Social Media and Computer Technology must have really simplified recently if The Club President is able to post a comment on our website.

  4. Before you know it he will be setting up an account on that Facetube thing!

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