Holywood Cricket Club is located on the outskirts of Belfast in County Down, Northern Ireland and has a 138-year history with the club currently playing home fixtures at the Seapark Oval, an Ards and North Down Council run facility. The council see that the grass is cut, then the club groundsman prepares a square but with 2 senior teams, 6 junior teams and a 2 new ladies sides all using the facility; the same issue as for many clubs where space is at a premium, is facilitating all the fixtures whilst still keeping a good playing surface for the 1st team intact. This is quite a challenge with the large weekly footfall from matches and training as well as the weather and restrictions that come with being a tenant but a recent investment in Flicx is helping Holywood CC to expand and flourish.
Earlier this year Holywood Cricket Club invested in two bespoke 2G Flicx Pitches in a bid to create additional facilities and add more capacity to their venue. William Belford the clubs Director of Development worked with the Flicx UK team to finetune two unique designs which are in effect a hybrid of the Flicx Multi Age Pitch (MAP) and Skills Pitch and second bespoke design of a beige T20 pitch with additional creases added to again host multiple age groups on the single pitch.
All teams except for the senior men’s sides now use the new 2G Flicx Pitches for matches and training. The first application being as a match pitch, rolled out in the middle for league games (with the multi age pitch markings, different age groups can all play on the same pitch) plus then secondly for the younger age groups, new mini pitches have been created on the outfield by cutting extra strips short with the mover and rolling the Flicx on top.
Flicx Pitch investment by Holywood CC
The club is starved of local investment and has been promised new net bays for many years now, but they have yet to come to fruition so a third application of the Flicx Pitches at Holywood CC is in the nets. Not only does this improve the practice facilities for the club with these temporary net bays but it adds another level of versatility and value from the investment as well as being a big-time saver in terms of preparation.
Player feedback has so far been highly positive with William Belford noting that “playing on a Flicx Pitch does help with the quality of the games and more runs have been scored especially with the mini pitches where there has been a significant upgrade with the standards”. The 2G Flicx Pitch has met all our expectations, it’s a great product and requires less ground preparation and maintenance versus preparing a natural turf wicket. It’s very functional and there is similar performance to astro, without the expense or groundworks”
In addition to the range of activities and sessions run at the club, the Holywood CC committee are being very pro-active in engaging with the local community and are now delivering cricket in schools to help attract new members. The focus is on creating better relationships with schools and filling the void, where there is a lack of structure for example currently with girls’ cricket provision. “A lot of effort is being put into creating a hub for girls’ cricket at the club and to harness its popularity and fast growth and turn that interest into new player members, volunteers and teams” says Belford. Part of this plan see’s the opportunity of helping schools who lack cricket pitch facilities to still play the game by taking a pitch to them. Using the clubs 2G Flicx Pitches and their unique portability to enable schools such as Rockport to compete with larger schools through their partnership with Holywood CC. The efforts are clearly paying off with over 200 children regularly participating in junior cricket sessions at the club!
Holywood have due diligently followed installation and ground preparation advice from Flicx with Belford commenting that they have really got good performance thanks to the effort that has been put into creating a good firm base for the pitches to roll out on.” The more effort you put in, the better the performance of the pitches. Flicx gives you the flexibility to increase your capacity whilst also reducing labour investment so the purchase has been a win- win for our club.” For more information on bespoke 2G Flicx Pitch designs contact email@example.com