Stanton Drew Sports Field Association – A sporting chance with long term survival.
Pensford, Publow and the Stantons Community Trust has been called to help with a challenging community project to breathe life into the Stanton Drew sports pavilion facilities. Andrew Hillman, Chairman of The Trust said,
“the Sports Field Committee have taken a great leap of faith in undertaking to improve their changing facilities and the Trust is delighted to recognise the commitment of the members and those that have been prepared to underpin the project and have made a grant of £4000 towards an estimated project cost of £20,000 plus. Stanton Drew is extremely lucky to have such an inspirational membership who are striving to create a facility for the benefit of all.”
Stanton Drew Sports Field Association, home to the Cricket Club and Football Club, had seen better days. Out of date and decades old deteriorating portakabins did not provide the minimum level of sports facility, the lack of which was threatening the Club’s very existence, despite a strong community support of enthusiastic sportsmen.
Steve Croucher, Committee member of the Association and involved with the club as boy and man since the 1980’s said, “our future was looking bleak. Modern facilities have to be provided with separate changing and shower facilities for the home and away teams, and also a private changing room for referees. We are a well-supported sports club, but felt our future could be in real jeopardy”.
Steve went on to say, “the Stanton Drew Cricket Club is very much part of the village heritage and can track its roots to 1899 following the discovery of a scorebook in 1949 which provided a potted results history including a game where Stanton Drew was all out for 12, but managed to grasp success by bowling the opposition out for 6”.
The Committee were considering how the poor facilities could be renovated to save the club, when the offer of an Elliott building was received. Steve explained, “an Elliott building is a module type building, often seen used for school classrooms or offices. It was offered to the Sports Field on the basis we could move it to site. Tim Kilbride and Brian Hawthorn, fellow stalwart committee members, and myself visited the building and after taking some advice on its condition took the decision that the opportunity should be grasped, and after discussions on logistics and seven lorry loads later the building was in situ”.
The project is a tall order, with building skills being called from the team players, including carpenters, plumbers, electricians, decorators and labouring. Benefactors in the Club have also been prepared to provide some financial support pending securing grants or fundraising events.
The new internal facilities are now complete providing two changing and shower rooms and separate referee facilities, storage and social area, and a makeover for the kitchen area following the donation of a nearly new kitchen. The exterior redecoration is now scheduled to complete the project.
Andrew Hillman went on to say, “these guys really deserve support, whilst there are other opportunities to apply for grant money, some providers, like Sports England, require a Club to own its site by freehold, or at least a reasonable leasehold. This is not the case in Stanton Drew which simply relies on the goodwill of a local farming family who have allowed the use of the land for decades and clearly their generosity has been paramount to the provision of sports in the village. Without this sort of security however, the money pots to which the Club can apply are very limited, and the Trust was delighted to step in and support this established community facility.”
Andrew explained that, “Steve Croucher is a previous Rotary Community Award winner and coaches the Stanton Drew School football team and is hopeful that the School will be able to make use of the facilities. I understand that Dieter Cook, Head Teacher of Stanton Drew and Bishop Sutton is donating some of their displaced tables and chairs following their new Bishop Sutton school build.”
The Sports Field is home to Stanton Drew cricket team in Bristol and District Division 12 and 2 Stanton Drew football teams in Bristol and District Division 5. Steve also said that, “we would be very happy to provide Pensford with access to our facilities as other Clubs provide extra valuable income for upkeep. We are already home to Bristol Afghans Sunday Cricket and teams from Whitchurch and potentially another local village.”
The Club is now looking at a programme of fund raising events which could include a Professional Cricketers Association lunch and 20/20 game. They are also keen to attract some Vice Presidents at a possible price of £50 per annum and Club or match sponsors.
There is an Open Day scheduled for 3rd of September at 4pm to which all are welcome to view the facilities and enjoy a welcome drink and nibbles.
Anyone interested in joining a team, or supporting the Club as a Vice President, donor or sponsor can contact Steve Croucher.