NatWest CricketForce 2016 (NWCF) is on the horizon with clubs across England and Wales preparing to boost their facilities ahead of the season start.
As we count down to the weekend kick-off on Friday, we’re sticking with numbers to delve into the history of the event from its humble beginnings through to now.
One – the solitary club that took part in the inaugural NatWest CricketForce in 2002. Lingfield CC in Surrey kick-started an annual programme that has since gone from strength to strength with current England batting coach Mark Ramprakash in attendance on that historic day.
15 – the number of years NatWest CricketForce has been running.
2,276 – the total number of clubs that got stuck in for NatWest CricketForce 2015 – a record figure across England and Wales.
Four – the number of weeks Gareth Gates’ debut single, Unchained Melody, spent at number one in the UK singles chart in 2002. Gates’ stint at the top of the charts coincided with the first CricketForce event at Lingley (9 April). In case you’re interested, it was also the second best-selling UK single of 2002 and the 2000s.
Five – total Ashes series wins for England since CricketForce’s inception in 2002, including a first victory on Australian soil for 24 years in 2010-11.
28,000 – estimated total monetary value in pounds of volunteer efforts at last year’s showcase club, Tenterden CC. Each year, volunteers, suppliers, businesses and community groups give their time, services, tools and equipment to help their local club prepare for the upcoming season. Cost savings, skills and experience and people power combine to provide huge benefits both inside and beyond the boundary.
Priceless – the community spirit and sense of purpose fostered each year by NatWest CricketForce and its participants.
If you’re feeling motivated, why not contact your local club and pay them a visit over this NWCF weekend?