I hope you are all well.
I just wanted to reflect on progress since my last update and on the return to cricket this weekend.
It was an incredible sight on Saturday to see cricket matches played again at the ground. Starting with Youth matches in the morning and inter-club senior game in the afternoon it was a hugely positive day. A definite step in the direction of a slow return to normality after covid-19. The responses from players and observers at the ground on Saturday and again with the ladies game on Sunday has been overwhelmingly positive.
There is more cricket this weekend with more youth games and senior sides with league games on Saturday and a friendly on Sunday.
It was so good to see members enjoying using the bar again. As I set out in earlier updates the coronavirus guidelines are tough to implement and things won’t return to normal for some while. Despite this however huge thanks must go to a number of people who in particular made Saturday and Sunday possible. Firstly Bruce for comprehending and then applying the new guidelines for bars. His son, Thomas, who built the Perspex screening across the bar. To Sian and Betty for working behind the bar; their first times for Odiham. Steve Benford for painting the bar railings ready for the weekend. Also to everyone who came along and, by and large, stuck to guidelines without question.
This is a challenging time for the club as we try and return to some form of normality both on the cricket and social side. I said earlier that the gradual increase in bar opening would be aligned to cricket for now because this is the logical and practical step to take - for now. Understandably members are concerned. This is not, as some feedback has unhelpfully suggested an attempt to distance or downgrade social membership. I understand people’s concerns but I’d like to stress that whatever the club is doing right now is to ensure a steady and sustainable future for the club post coronavirus. Also, it is easy to underestimate the measures and controls that need to be in place to run a bar service. Many pubs have only just opened for that very reason. It wasn’t easy and it won’t be for a while.
More bar opening
With my previous paragraph in mind I am pleased to announce an extension of the bar opening hours after last weekend’s success and with more volunteers on board. So:
The bar will be open tonight from 6.30 pm; then Saturday and Sunday from 2pm. Each time , closing will depend on how busy the bar is and availability of volunteers.
Please remember the coronavirus guidelines with social distancing, maximum group size and to sterilise your hands before and after using the toilet.
Cricketers – equipment and bags
A reminder that for matches and practices sessions all players need to leave their bags and equipment in their cars, if possible. Failing that, please leave them away from the club bar veranda area possibly near the scoreboard.
It’s slow progress getting Long Sutton open again. The work to remove the risk of legionella infection from the pipework started today with a contractor arriving to risk assess and then flush the system to kill any bacteria. Hopefully, it’ll be finished on Friday. Long Sutton pavilion therefore is ‘out of bounds’ . Please let me know if you need access.
Sadly, the pitch mower for Long Sutton is no more. We need to source an affordable replacement. With Steve Spreadborough’s work commitments meaning he can’t commit as much time to the ground as he used to we need help to maintain the ground and pitches. Please volunteer if you can..
Finally, another thank you to the overwhelming number of you that have paid your membership fees without quibble and knowing that this season isn’t as full as we’d hope. The committee are working hard to make sure you get as much value as you possibly can from your membership