More Space and Better-Quality Training
Chippenham Cricket Club first found the need for a 2G Flicx Pitch when their groundsman unexpectedly passed away last year. This placed extra demand on club volunteers and their turf facilities. The club needed a way to create more space whilst still giving high quality training facilities across the teams. The 2G Flicx Pitch definitely ticked that box and chairman Darren Hughes “couldn’t be more pleased” with the purchase “We got the Flicx Pitch to save time and it definitely ticked that box”
With more demand for women’s and girls cricket the pitch at Chippenham is already used in several different ways on a weekly basis …
- Hosting Women’s Softball Festivals – 2 matches are held simultaneously, one on the Flicx Pitch, the other on the synthetic with 4 teams competing.
- Hosting U9’s and U11’s league matches where the bounce is consistent, and the juniors can play proper cricket shots.
- Junior Club Training – Split into two batting ends for games off one end, to create two additional training aids for junior training where 120 youngsters all play in different areas of the ground.
- Senior Club Training – Again used as batting ends with the portable net cage around it for wicket keeping / bowling practices to cater for variable numbers at training. A valuable extra area to use.
- Chippenham next plan to use the pitch indoors as two net lanes and potentially will try it over their main square for extra senior training next season.
With a purchase of this nature, Darren was hoping that funding could be sought but unfortunately the club was unable to tap into any pots for the Flicx Pitch purchase however despite this enthusiasm for the Flicx idea grew from the committee especially given the time it would save the grounds team plus the club were able to get 12 new sponsors creating a pot of extra funds for the 2023 season meaning they were able to justify the spend so things fell into place. Darren did see the purchase as a bit risky but the resources on the flicx.com website and reassurance from Merrick Fuller at Mr Cricket + Hockey saw them complete a purchase of a Junior Multi Age Pitch (MAP) in early April 2023.
Instantly club members were really impressed. With the wet summer, the bounce was just slightly lower than the turf wicket but the bounce very consistent. The only slight thing has been with some of the lower levels not able to land the ball on the mat but it’s a small price to pay for all the benefits you are getting. Overall it certainly delivers performance wise – it’s been excellent.
To a club like us, they are a real asset.
Darren feels the ECB should consider being more open to supporting clubs with funding support for the Flicx Pitches. He summarised, ‘I believe the pitches are a quick and effective solution for any club who is finding it a challenge to meet and deliver the wide range of cricket the ECB are now encouraging clubs to offer. Club’s that have the potential to grow and want to offer more cricket but have limited space to increase their training and playing opportunities, will certainly find the Flicx Pitches a great asset’
Any club who is trying to find a way to offer more (junior and women’s – whichever way you look at it, it is more preparation work and more pressure on the facilities – people totally underestimate what is involved in getting a game on a grass wicket). Any club like us – I think it’s a brilliant thing and Tuddenham CC down the road have already seen our 2G Flicx Pitch and purchased one of their own”
The only thing stopping me saying this is the answer to everything is that we have only had it a year but if it retains its performance, I think all clubs with a junior section will benefit from it and the groundsman will be super grateful for the time saving!
Chippenham CC Fact File
- Facilities – 1 ground, Small Pavilion, 2 astro nets, 1 synthetic strip and a roll-on net.
- Membership – Around 200 active members of which 130 are kids. Lots of families.
- Teams – 7 adult sides (2 Saturday, 2 Sunday, 2 Midweek, 1 Ladies) plus 7 junior teams with players from 5 upwards plus ladies’ softball and Allstars and Dynamo programmes.
Chippenham Club Background
Chippenham Cricket Club is around 30 years old and have a lovely ground on picturesque park estate on the Cambridgeshire / Suffolk boarder. 13 years ago was a pivotal time when they decided in their current “village” format they couldn’t survived so started a journey to play league cricket in the Cambs Cricket pyramid and developed what is now a large, thriving junior section. Women’s and girls’ has rapidly grown in recent years too
Preparation and Maintenance on the 2G Flicx Pitch at CCC
Chippenham currently have a grounds team of volunteers which in total makes up to around 40 hours a weeks work on the ground. Now having the 2G Flicx Pitch – two extra areas have been added for just a very small percentage of the prep time. Chippenham have been doing a 10 minute roll over the grass area and cutting the grass so it’s a massive time saver and the groundsmen love it!