Beckenham Cricket Club in Kent have been growing junior cricket participation at their Club with the help of 2G Flicx Pitches. This is their story as to how they have grown with Flicx, and boosted Junior Cricket during a testing year.
First Innings | Beckenham CC x 2G Flicx Pitch
Three years ago, the former Chair of Cricket at Beckenham Cricket Club, David Valder (affectionately known as ‘Darth’) researched 2G Flicx Pitches for increasing junior cricket provision and purchased a 22.12m Multi Age Pitch for Junior matches.
We had the pleasure of talking to Amanda Combes (U11 Age Group Lead and Junior Secretary at Beckenham CC) about her experience of working within the Junior Section and use of the 2G Flicx Pitch:
“The first I heard about the 2G Flicx Pitch we’d bought was a few months after purchase in 2019 when I was chatting with Darth about organising more Junior cricket in the summer after the end of the Junior League season.”
Suddenly Darth revealed they had a portable wicket! After going to the equipment store, and shown how to use the pitch, Amanda’s follow up question was:
“Could we not run two matches on the pitch at the same time for juniors – one on a grass wicket and one on the Flicx wicket?”
The benefits of running two Junior matches at the same time; with one match on the far wicket of the square, the other match on the 2G Flicx wicket in the outfield were increased levels of participation at the Club. Extending the season and giving Junior members more of what they want!
Second Innings | Purchase of a Second 2G Flicx Pitch & Growing Junior Cricket
In 2019, Beckenham CC began a two-year project (with the support of the ECB) to relay several of its grass wickets for the first time in 150 years. This would mean U11 and U13 Junior League Cricket would not be possible on grass wickets at Foxgrove Road as they were first to be redeveloped.
Combined with the devastating arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 (and the delayed start of the cricket season and cancellation of the official Junior Leagues) the youngsters had no access to grass wickets.
“Whilst the Club’s investment in the wickets was very welcome, it was very frustrating being unable to get the Juniors on grass wickets for home fixtures. It was incredibly hard to contemplate with the Junior demand last summer with few families able to travel.”
Amanda asked the question: “Is there any way we can get another Flicx Wicket?”
Amanda talked with the Mat Flint (U13 Age Group Lead), Suzy Masson (U12 Girls Lead) as well as Junior Chair Emyr Roberts before going to the Chair of the Club to demonstrate the strong business case for buying a second 22.12m Multi Age Pitch. And in July 2020, Beckenham CC bought another 22.12m MAP Flicx Pitch for the Juniors at the Club.
“Having two 2G Flicx Pitches in 2020 was instrumental in the Junior section playing at least six U11 and U13 matches a week at Foxgrove Road”
With the main square off limits, the Flicx pitches were off centre meaning boundaries were closer on either the leg side or off side.
“We adjusted and started bowling from one end. We also came up with some creative solutions for the U13s matches, like the nearside boundary only being worth two runs and more runs for longer boundaries that required more challenging shots to be played. The biggest thing was being able to play as much cricket and have as much fun as safely possible! With the support of parents and the enthusiasm of the players, we did just that!”
With a more comprehensive summer programme of cricket possible this season, Beckenham plan to use their Flicx Pitches in Senior and Junior training as well as many Junior matches. Growing junior cricket even further!
About Beckenham CC
Cricket has been played for the past 151 years at Beckenham Cricket Club’s beautiful ground at Foxgrove Road in the London Borough of Bromley, United Kingdom. With eight senior Men’s sides (6x Saturday, 2x Sunday), a flourishing Junior membership dubbed one of the best in Kent and an established Girls section; Beckenham CC are not short of cricketers to cater to!
The Junior section at Beckenham CC boasts 250 to 300 members; a third of whom play softball cricket, the remaining playing hardball cricket. Beckenham CC field 11x Junior hardball sides (4x U11, 4x U13, 2x U15 and 1x U17) coached by qualified ECB coaches and complemented by Team Managers.
Beckenham CC prepares Juniors to transition into senior sides smoothly wherever possible. Sunday sides often provide the first taste of Senior Cricket for U13s, U15s and U17s into appropriate Saturday sides to complement their junior league commitments. Softballers play in the Big Bash locally and Kent Mini-8s throughout the season.