England Stars Lend a Hand As New Community Clubhouse Rises From the Ashes
After months of build-up, the Ashes have finally arrived in Nottinghamshire. With the series perfectly balanced at 2-1 to the home side, it’s do or die time for the Australians – if they still have plans to take the Ashes back home with them.
England, meanwhile, will be hoping to continue their great form and seal the series. The dream of lifting cricket’s smallest – but most significant – trophy right here in Nottingham, is still very much alive.
The action gets under-way tomorrow, and with England’s Jimmy Anderson missing out due to injury – the hopes of a nation fall largely on Nottinghamshire’s own Stuart Broad, who looks set to take his 300th test wicket at Trent Bridge.
We want all of our visitors to be bowled over by the warm welcome they receive in Nottingham during the Ashes – see here for some great offers you can redeem if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket – but, it’s also essential that major events like these have a lasting legacy for the communities that are hosting them.
Walk five minutes along the River Trent, with the famous cricket ground’s floodlights rising behind you, and you’ll find a swarm of fluorescent-jacket wearing workers currently bringing an inspirational, community-focused project to life.
A shiny new cricket pavilion is being constructed on the Victoria Embankment, with the aim of increasing sporting participation in the area.
Nottingham City Council, Trent Bridge Community Trust, and dozens of local businesses have come together as one to ensure that the thump of leather on willow, and the typically English sight of whitewashed cricketers enjoying an afternoon’s good-natured sport, will grace the banks of the River Trent for generations to come.
Ashes heroes Graeme Swann and Simon Jones attended the ground-breaking event, where they rolled up their sleeves to bury a time capsule – marking the transition from the dilapidated old pavilion to the new one – and planted an English Willow tree. The tree will be turned into 20 high quality cricket bats in 20 years, which will then be donated back to the community.
As you can see from the photos, spin-master Swann was particularly keen – even jumping into the hole to lend a hand.
The new cricketing facility will be in use all year round, and complements the installation of several all-weather, artificial wickets. These are ideal for the new Last Man Stands form of the game – a casual, socially focused format that’s perfect for anyone who wants to get active midweek. Participation has already doubled in Nottingham over the last two years.
Two cricket teams will call the new facility home, while it will also be used for football in the winter, and community events in the evenings.
As sport’s greatest rivalry focuses the cricketing world’s eyes on the drama at Trent Bridge over the next week, it’s great to know that the event’s legacy is already rising, brick by brick – and who knows, we may even unearth the next Graeme Swann or Simon Jones right here on Victoria Embankment.