Chestfield Cricket Club, Whitstable

CommunityAd talk all things cricket with Chestfield Cricket Club.

 

With the success of England’s T20 World Cup triumph, we thought it would be fitting to pay tribute and get in touch with Chestfield Cricket Club. Known as a friendly, sociable and inclusive club, we had the pleasure of speaking with the Chairman of Chestfield Cricket Club Paul Gibson to find out more about his relationship with the sport and discuss this wonderful club.

 

Can you provide readers with information into your own background in the sport of cricket and how you became Chairman of Chestfield Cricket Club? 

I have played cricket since a boy for some 45 years and have built a good network of friends and contacts within Kent’s cricket scene.

Qualifying as a level 2 coach in 2000 and taking Institute of Groundsman courses in 2011, the opportunity to become club chairman came in 2015. Being a player, coach and groundsman gave me a full circle of knowledge to take on this role.

My aim as Chairman is to provide a safe, family-friendly place for all to enjoy and develop in cricket. We do this by encouraging and supporting volunteers and providing good quality facilities and coaches. We always strive to be a fundamental part of the community supporting other groups and activities needing a venue.

Basically, we want Chestfield Cricket Club to be a place where people want to spend their spare time and be part of something.

 

Over the past year, Canterbury City Council awarded the club a grant of £4,000 to fund for the building of an internal storage unit. How is this grant helping the club in the long term?

The award of the grant enabled the club to acquire facilities to store extra equipment needed for ours and other community groups and sport activities.

 

What would you say have been the club’s proudest moments so far?

Every year I am proud of what we achieve, and by we, I mean the fantastic group of people that help keep the club running; they are the committee, the volunteers i.e. managers and coaches, bar staff, fundraisers and parents.

The club has proud moments each season, whether it be a single performance by a player, a team promoted, a junior member being selected for the county age group cricket.

Each year the junior presentation evening is a proud evening to hear the achievements and progress of so many young cricketers.

 

Would you say the community of Whitstable have supported the club especially during the pandemic? 

Yes, the Chestfield residents did support the club, however the club more so supported the community.

Many organisations approached the club to continue their activities outside at our venue. Local schools, Walking Netball, Gymnastic club, exercise classes etc. The Club was awarded the county “Connecting Communities award” by the NatWest and ECB.

 

Are you currently looking for any players and/or volunteers? If so, how can readers get in touch to enquire?   

Our numbers of players are very good, senior and junior but more volunteers for various roles are always welcome. A good number of young players are progressing via our Sunday league teams into senior cricket.

 

Do you have a future vision of where would you like Chestfield Cricket Club to be in the next 5-10 years?

Hopefully, progress will be made with the planned rebuild/refurbishment/extension of the clubhouse. We want to be able to provide up to date safeguarding changing areas for women and officials together with disabled facilities.

 

Find out more about the Chestfield Cricket Club by visiting www.chestfield.play-cricket.com/home.

by Matthew Hemmings

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