Howzat for a crowd
Over 500 people joined Kings Hill Cricket Club for its Open Day which was organised as part of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s initiative to make the game a real community event.
The day consisted of a number of softball matches between some of the Club’s emerging talent in the U-11 Young Cricketers followed by a hard ball competition between the two established U-11 league squads, the Hurricanes and the Vampires. The event culminated in a challenge match between the Kings Hill Mosquitos and Beadles, one of the sponsors. Beadles won.
The Open Day also marked ten years since the idea of a Kings Hill cricket club was first mooted to developer Liberty Property Trust UK and, keen to give the community as many leisure amenities as possible, Liberty - together with development partner Kent County Council - provided the club with a ground and pavilion. They were formally opened by cricketing legend Derek Underwood in 2010 and have been a focal point of the community ever since.
“Kings Hill CC is a perfect example of community participation, demonstrating what can be achieved with a strong volunteer base,” said Peter Robinson from the Tonbridge and Malling District Cricket Partnership of the Kent Cricket Board who helped set up the club.
“It also shows how a developer can contribute to social cohesion in a community by the provision of sport and recreational facilities – and Kings Hill is an important exemplar for this. The club has become a focal point for the development and is a great place for members, families and friends to meet and have fun. It is proving extremely popular and we are very grateful to Liberty and KCC for providing us with such a fantastic ground which is right at the heart of the community.”
The club now has more than 100 playing and social members. The adult section is progressing through the Kent structured league network and the junior section is thriving, with 75 U-11s on the books and over 40 on the waiting list.
Liberty’s managing director Andrew Blevins said: “We are developing Kings Hill as a contemporary garden village and amenities are a vital part of creating a community that has a true sense of place,” he said.
As well as the cricket ground, Kings Hill also has an 18 hole golf course, sports park with five grass pitches and one artificial pitch together with a sports pavilion; allotments; miles of interlinked foot and cycle paths; two gyms, including David Lloyd Leisure and Tennis Academy and a nature park.