Street End Celebrate onset of Summer

Monday 26th July 2021

Just minutes away from the famous Nackington Road End is where you’ll find Street End CC. Having formed in 1981, the club are over a hundred years younger than most of their rivals around the city. Despite the club’s relative youth, Street End have a reputation for being a significant force in the Regional, Village and Indoor leagues.

However, the last few years have not been easy for the club following a decline in playing membership leading to the withdrawal of the second eleven as well as inconsistent junior age group sides, which led the club facing near bankruptcy in the start of 2020. Speaking to the vice-chair and junior co-ordinator, James Chamberlain said;

“We faced a number of very difficult years, which saw the club on the brink of collapse at the start of 2020. But thanks to the generosity of current and past members, along with the local community, we were able to return to a stable financial footing. A new committee was formed and vision for where we wanted Street End to be, with the success of the All Stars and Dynamos Cricket programmes at the heart of the plan.”   

Joining the All Stars Cricket programme in 2018 was the first step towards addressing the long-term sustainability for the club, and whilst 18 sign-ups was a positive start it sat significantly below the average number per centre across the county. Adam Hodder, the National Programmes Manager at Kent Cricket has the benefit of seeing trends across the whole county, along with the data for the 5 years since it’s inception…

“Of course we would love to see every club that joins the programme to be bursting at the seams from their first year, but every club is different and we have to work with them to find the best way to promote their sessions. Ultimately, sometimes it takes a year or two for word to spread.”
– Adam Hodder, Cricket Programmes Manager

The club saw their numbers increase gradually in 2019, before they had to take a break from the programme in the pandemic effected year of 2020 (as did most clubs). Street End ran a handful of cricket taster sessions as restrictions eased in the summer of 2020 to attract new members with the need for children to participate in team sports that the pandemic has taken away . Coming into 2021, the club made the decision to run with the new Dynamos Cricket programme as well, creating a pathway for 5 year olds right through into their age group teams. And so far, evidence would suggest the club themselves are now on the right track as well…

“To have over 70 children participate across both programmes on a Friday night is a great way to start the weekend at Street End and incredibly exciting for the future of the club. We would not be able to run either programme without our team of activators that run the session week in week out. The national programmes have also managed to attract a junior section sponsorship which has enabled us to improve our facilities for our junior members”

With the Inspired to Play grant launched for cricket clubs to extend and enhance the opportunities for children to access cricket this summer, James leapt on the opportunity to further build on their progress with a celebration event based on a ‘Cricket Olympics’

“The Cricket Olympics was a great way to end 8 fantastic weeks of our All Star and Dynamos programmes. The Olympics showcased all that is great about the programmes with non-stop action and fun allowing every child lots of activity. We finished the session with a presentation where every child received a medal, certificate and a Street End water bottle which the Inspired to Play grant enabled us to purchase.”  

All of the staff within the Community Team at Kent Cricket are tremendously pleased to see the growth of the programmes at Street End, which is fantastic for the game as well as a fitting return on the hard work that James, and his fellow activators have put in so far.