I am holding my annual Charity Cricket Game at Hesketh Park 0n 6th July which again will be raising funds for the Arrow Riding Centre for the disabled in Darenth and also to help Dartford Cricket Club’s youth teams. Dartford Cricket Club’s Junior Academy is a centre of excellence for juniors wanting to learn and play cricket. Dartford are renowned for having a strong quality junior section and a rich history of placing a firm emphasis on youth development. Their aim is to provide excellent cricket education and more importantly help all juniors have fun and enjoy playing cricket.
It’s a really exciting time for Dartford Cricket Club as building will soon start on their new pavilion. This will be a modern building that will help facilitate youth cricket and be a real asset to the local area. The club is actually the oldest cricket club in the world, having been founded in 1727 and sometimes it seems as though the current pavilion has been in use for the whole of that time! Dartford Council has agreed to work in partnership with the club and help fund the new pavilion which is due to open in September this year.
The game itself is just part of the activities taking place on the day. We have youth teams playing, cricketing challenges, face-painting, dancing groups, stalls, auctions, BBQs, and the inevitable bouncy castles. The event is kindly sponsored by Bluewater but also supported by Sainsbury’s in Dartford, McDonalds and a host of smaller local companies and organisations. Dartford Valley rugby club are also assisting with the event.
My team, which will include ex England player Min Patel, will take on a Dartford Cricket Club XI. We are hoping to raise several thousands of pounds for the Arrow Riding Centre which gives children with disabilities the opportunity to take part in equestrian activities which help their confidence, stature and social skills. It is a fantastic local charity, founded in 1982 and run by the husband and wife team, Ken and Val Blake. They have an extremely hard working group of volunteers helping them but always welcome more funding which can enable them to meet their overheads and provide more riding opportunities for disabled children.
Last year I enjoyed a fair amount of time batting until I was brought down to earth by a teenage girl who clean bowled me. Still it’s never a bad thing for a politician to be taken down a peg or two every now and then!
Entry to the event is free and the game itself will start around 1pm although there will be activities and junior Kwik Cricket taking place from 10am. Please come and support the event at Hesketh Park, Pilgrims Way, Dartford, DA1 1QZ.