5 Year Plan – 2017-2022
‘A Club for everyone, a Club to be proud of’
After over 230 years of cricket at Farnham we are proud to be the latest generation of cricketers to represent our Club. We are proud of Farnham’s playing history, of the thousands of players who have been introduced to cricket and learned to love the game at Farnham, of the families who have been involved in our Club over the years, of the friendships forged on and off the field, and of the role we play in our community. We play at a high standard in competitive leagues, and our aim is to compete fairly, show respect to our opponents, and to win our matches. We seek to enable all our players of whatever age or ability to enjoy the game and realise their full potential; we offer a social environment which is welcoming and open to all, and we develop partnerships with sponsors, supporters and with our community. As the latest custodians of the Club we will represent Farnham cricket with pride before, in turn, handing on to the next generation.
2.WHAT ARE WE PROUD OF?
– Farnham is one of the oldest cricket Clubs in England, having been founded in 1782, and played at Farnham Park since 1870
– Our setting is unrivalled, with its proximity to the park, the adjacent Castle and our distinctive pavilion which was built in 1930
– The Club has produced senior and junior England players, and many famous cricketers have played at Farnham Park over the years
High Levels of Senior League cricket and demanding playing standards
– Farnham can offer a high standard of competitive senior cricket, with only Guildford and Normandy nearby in Surrey competing at a similarly high level. Given Farnham’s location at the extreme west of the Surrey, most Clubs in the region play in the Hampshire or I’Anson competitions.
– Every Saturday we field three senior teams in the highly competitive Surrey Championship competition.
-Our 1st XI plays in the First Division and our 2nd Xl in the Premiership of their respective leagues
-The majority of our senior players have graduated through the Club’s Youth programme, but many players have also joined us from clubs in the surrounding area to take advantage of the opportunity to play a higher standard of competitive cricket
– Our 3rd XI doubles as our Academy team to introduce young players to senior league cricket, and it plays in the Surrey Championship West Division
– We have over 40 players vying for selection for one of these three teams each Saturday, which can make selection a challenging process
Thriving Youth Section
– Since 1998 we have invested heavily in our Youth programme, and we now have some 140 junior members aged between 5 and 13 who attend training on Friday evenings and play matches over the weekends.
– We operate age group teams on a competitive basis from U8s to U13s, running multiple teams in each age group to be able to accommodate all standards of junior cricketer.
– In 2016 the U9 side won the West Surrey and North Hampshire A League, double, and the U11s won the North Hampshire League and Cup, as well as winning the West Surrey A League for the third successive season
– On the representative front in 2016/17 three U10 players were selected for the Surrey Performance Squads, as were nine players from the U11 squad.
– Each age group has its own manager and coaches, with the Club having eight level 2 qualified coaches from within its own senior playing membership
– The Youth Section is run overall by a Youth Manager supported by an Assistant Manager, the Age Group Managers and by the Club’s Welfare Officer who ensures that appropriate safeguarding arrangements are in place.
– We are proud of the fact that over 50% of the regular members of our three senior sides in 2016/17 had progressed through our Youth programme to reach this high level of competitive cricket
Enviable Ground and Infrastructure
– The Club enjoys a 50 year lease on its ground – agreed with Waverley Borough Council in [July] 2017
– The ground is in an enviable and historic setting in Farnham Park, easily accessible to spectators and the local community, providing one of the most attractive playing arenas in the country.
– The pavilion, built in 1930 and subsequently enhanced, offers home and away changing facilities, showers, an umpires’ room, a kitchen and a bar for the enjoyment of members and visitors.
– The Club has wooden sight screens, covers for the wicket area, and practice nets for group and one to one coaching sessions.
– Farnham is fortunate to have a professionally qualified and experienced cricket groundsman who has significantly improved the wicket and surrounding playing area over the past few years- the wicket was ranked fifth in the Division by visiting captains in 2016/17
– In addition to Farnham Park the Club has regular access to a further three good quality grounds in which senior and junior matches are regularly played: Weydon School, Crondall and Wrecclesham.
Role in the Community
– We have developed relationships with local schools to use their facilities (thereby generating additional revenues for them), and to provide their students with a pathway into cricket through our Youth section
– We make our ground available for hire at discounted rates to community groups, charities and sponsors
– We have an established relationship with a local Montessori nursery school which on weekdays is based in our pavilion and uses our grounds
– A local band uses our facilities in which to practise, and we are keen broaden our offer to others in the community
– We enjoy the support of 15 local commercial sponsors who offer us financial and other assistance, and whose support we look to reciprocate.
– On Friday evenings at our Youth section coaching sessions the Club regularly provides a social hub, Bar, BBQ and meeting place for in excess of 100 parents, family members and friends.
– Our accessible and successful website represents and markets the Club effectively
Inclusive, Welcoming and Safe
– We are Clubmark accredited, and have in place all the appropriate Safeguarding, Health and Safety and other Policies to ensure that Farnham is a safe and secure environment in which to play cricket
– We welcome social and playing members and players of any age, gender, experience or playing standard, and we aim to foster a diverse and inclusive environment within the Club
– We aspire to be accessible and welcoming to new members and to the general public who may be interested in spectating at matches or supporting the Club in other ways
– We respect and welcome visiting teams and their family/friends, and want them to enjoy and reflect favourably upon the time that they spend at Farnham Cricket Club.
Strong Governance and Commercially Sound
– We are an unincorporated organisation governed by our constitution, and managed for the benefit of our members by an elected Committee and Officers
– The Committee is elected annually at our AGM, and comprises individuals with significant playing experience as well as incorporating a wide range of professional disciplines including financial, legal, marketing, commercial and general management.
– As befits a professionally run and Clubmark accredited organisation the Club has developed a suite of policies and procedures and an approach to governance which employs the necessary checks and balances across all aspects of its operations, whilst ensuring a streamlined approach to decision making.
– Our aim is to run the Club’s cricketing operations sustainably based upon our core income from subscriptions, the bar and support from our sponsors. Additional income from commercial activities such as renting to external organisations the pavilion and ground facilities affords us the opportunity to develop the Club
– Expanded commercial use in the form of a new relationship with the Montessori nursery school has significantly increased the Club’s regular income and financial reserves, enabling it to invest for the future in new, cricket- related equipment, and to begin to scope a longer term strategic plan for the development of the Club.
– In this regard the Club has recently secured permanent planning consent for ‘mixed use’ (ie not solely cricket) of the pavilion and facilities, which potentially increases the commercial options available to the Club to enhance its financial sustainability.
3. FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGY: 2017-2022
The Committee is determined that more will be done to build upon the strong foundations outlined in section 2 above. Indeed, as custodians, recognising our role to continue to grow and strengthen the Club before handing it on to the next generation, we have identified a number of key objectives upon which the Club will focus over the next five years.
These objectives are summarised below following the same headings employed in section 2:
– Farnham Cricket Club celebrates its 250th birthday in 2032, just 15 years from now.
– We are determined that the decisions and investments which fall within the timeframe of this Five Year Plan will see the Club surviving and thriving just as strongly in 2032 as it has done in its previous 250 years
– Today’s Youth Section is the basis of the generation of senior players who will be representing the Club in 2032; we are the custodians for them.
High Levels of Senior League Cricket and Demanding Playing Standards
– Our 1st and 2nd XIs will aim to remain in the upper echelons (the Premier or First Divisions) of the Surrey Championship, and our 3rd (Academy) XI will continue to develop young players, and aim for promotion to the First Division of its League
– In each of the next five years we will maintain our ratio of 50% of the players in our senior teams having progressed to that level through our Youth programme, consistent with our philosophy of developing our own talent.
-We will be the Club of choice for players in the region who wish to play cricket of a higher standard, and develop their skills and test their abilities at this more senior level of competitive cricket- our target is for 25% of our senior players to have joined us from local league cricket
– Home grown talent and the recruitment of talented local league players will be supplemented by the recruitment of an overseas professional (our only paid player), who will be expected to play a leadership role across all aspects of the Club- playing, coaching and socially
-As the Club located furthest west in the Surrey Championship we will develop a closer relationship with Surrey CC to assist the county side to attract more players from the Hampshire/Surrey border, and to offer these talented young cricketers playing opportunities with Farnham CC
– At a time when many amateur sports clubs are closing or merging due to a decline in active members the attraction of the all round Farnham CC ‘offer’ is such that we will resist this trend, and will increase the number of senior playing members from 50 in 2017 to 75 in 2022
– A new coaching regime and structure will be introduced to help to develop the skills of our senior players
Thriving Youth Section
– We will continue to run teams in the Surrey U8-U13 competitions, and, whilst recognising the challenge of retaining youngsters in the game, will seek to introduce an U15 team to facilitate progression to Senior cricket
– We see cricket as a sport which enables youngsters to develop important life and social skills, and we will continue to attract and encourage players of all standards with a view to providing them with the opportunity to play their cricket in a supportive and enjoyable environment
– We will increase the number of players in the Youth section from 140 in 2017 to 200 by 2022, in part by welcoming more girls into the Youth section
– Over the next five years we will be consistently providing more cricketers each year to the Surrey Performance programme
– We will implement a methodology for obtaining feedback from all players and parents to assess their satisfaction with the coaching and quality of the social environment afforded by the Club to all members of the Youth section
– To support this growth in participation at junior level we will attract increased numbers of adult volunteers, and will develop a succession plan for management of the Youth section
– We want to be recognised for running the strongest Youth programme in our area, so to ensure the development of young talent, and to help all players to achieve their potential, we will review our coaching regime to implement the most effective way of delivering consistent, high quality coaching
Enviable Ground and Infrastructure
– To ensure that the Club is able to attract and develop future generations of cricketers, to be able to contribute more effectively to the community, and to secure the financial viability of the Club for the long term, we intend within the next five year period to redevelop the Pavilion and its facilities.
– Specifically we need to improve disabled access to the Club, and to introduce female changing facilities, as well as upgrading the Pavilion facilities for all members
– We will determine whether this is most practicably achieved through securing funding to extend and renovate the current pavilion or by building an entirely new pavilion.
– Either scenario will require planning consents to be achieved, and will necessitate fundraising and grant applications to be prepared and submitted. A structured approach and team to undertake this exercise will be established once the chosen path is determined
– To provide the capacity for the growth targeted in this Plan we will identify those grounds additional to our primary location at Farnham Park which can become long term ‘homes from home’ for Farnham cricket
– We will identify, and, when appropriate, invest in equipment and services to develop our playing capabilities, to continue to enhance the quality of our playing surfaces and to maintain our infrastructure
Role in the Community
– We will be the focus for cricket in our community: schools, local charities and businesses, local councillors, aspiring players, cricket lovers and newcomers to the town will ‘think first’ of Farnham CC as the home of cricket locally
– We will communicate more effectively outside the Club, and increase our profile locally, demonstrating that we are accessible and welcoming to prospective new players, supporters and spectators.
-We will develop constructive and mutually beneficial relationships with cricket clubs in the surrounding area to provide opportunities for their talented and ambitious players to participate in Surrey Championship cricket
– As we develop our plans for our ‘pavilion project’ we will engage with the community to help to determine where the Club may be able to provide for Farnham-based community groups space or services which are not currently readily available in the town.
– We will actively engage with Council Officers and elected representatives to explain the Club’s aspirations, to seek their advice and feedback, and to request their support, where appropriate, to bring our plans to fruition.
– We will focus on our links with selected local schools and colleges to determine whether the Club can act as an extension of their sports provision to their students.
Inclusive, Welcoming and Safe
– We will continue to encourage members to volunteer to play their part in the social and playing activities of the Club (eg youth managers, coaches, scorers, umpires, committee members, fund raisers, Catering, Bar and BBQ, practical skills and knowledge) as this enables us to function effectively, and it underpins the ‘One Club’ ethos in which we all support each other.
-The Senior and Junior sections of the Club will be integrated more effectively to drive this ‘One Club’ philosophy across our playing and social activities
– We will aim to attract members of the Youth section and their family members and friends to spectate at League matches being played by Senior sides on Saturdays, and will welcome them into the Pavilion during/following matches.
– Senior players will continue to be involved in coaching or supporting Junior sides to provide encouragement and act as role models for junior players
– Internal communications within the Club will be enhanced to raise the profile of club-wide team and individual performances and activities, and to enhance the sense of belonging to one Club
– We will achieve our Three Year Clubmark re-accreditation in 2017
– As part of this process we will review, refresh and (if appropriate) strengthen our Policies and Procedures relating to Safeguarding, Security and Health and Safety
Strong Governance and Commercially Sound
-We will continue to fund our core activities through our regular subscriptions, bar and sponsorship income, and will ensure that we can operate sustainably on this basis, whilst driving external commercial income to fund the strategic development of the Club and its facilities as envisaged in this Plan
– Whilst we will retain our ethos of being a Club run by volunteers and of not paying players (with the exception of funding one overseas player), we will examine using our income and reserves to fund activities which have hitherto been delivered primarily by unpaid volunteers eg management of our coaching programmes, serving behind the bar, scoring.
– This will ensure the provision of these services to a consistent standard, reduce the burden of administration on Committee members, and may enable us to derive additional revenue from opening the bar to spectators and visiting teams throughout a Saturday afternoon
– We will identify opportunities to hire out our ground to external organisations at an appropriate commercial rate
– We will aim to secure a longer term commercial arrangement with the Montessori school to rent our current premises, and invite the school to be an integral part of our pavilion project if mutually acceptable terms can be agreed
– We will review our Senior and Junior subscription levels against other Clubs locally, taking account of the quality of our offering and the environment offered by the Club
– We will review the skills sets within the members of the Committee to ensure that sufficient breadth of experience is available, and will achieve strong governance by ensuring that clear accountabilities, delegations, communications and decision making processes are in place.
4. CLUB VALUES
Farnham Cricket Club has evolved over many years a set of Values and behaviours which reflects the ethos of the Club and its members, and which go to the heart of what makes the Club special. These are summarised as follows:
– ‘Celebrate the success of others’
On field performances of teammates and players in other FCC teams; county recognition of fellow players; good results by other teams; personal landmarks by players at all levels; recognition of volunteers and their contribution to the Club
– ‘One Club’
We are one Farnham Cricket Club: Senior and Junior sections interested in the results and performances of each other; new members are actively welcomed and integrated; Junior members aspire to play for the Senior teams; senior members actively support and encourage young players; parents/family members of junior members feel part of the wider Club
-‘We play our part’
It is our Club, and the environment is what we make it; we are a Club founded upon its membership and what we are each able to contribute; we are reliant upon what we can each offer to support and develop our Club; we play our part where we can, we share the load, and do not leave it to others if we have something to offer
– ‘Win with grace, lose with dignity’
Winning is important to us but it is not everything; the game is more enjoyable and new players are attracted when the team is successful, but performances ‘for the team’ and individuals giving of their best, fulfilling their potential and enjoying the game is equally valued
– ‘Professional and Prepared’
Regular attendance at training; practising to improve skills; individuals open to feedback; punctuality and professional appearance; holding each other to account for performances and adhering to collectively agreed standards and behaviours
These behaviours have been critical to our longevity and to the attraction that we hold for our members. These Values are key to the continued success of the Club, to the achievement of the objectives outlined in this Plan, and are fundamental to our decision making. We are always able to test our decisions and our plans against these Values to ensure that our decisions will be acceptable to members past and present, and that they are consistent with the ethos of the Club.
5. FINANCIAL PLAN
Our present financial position is robust. We run our core cricketing activities on a sustainable basis, funded by our subscriptions, sponsorships and bar takings. Additional commercial income is critical to be able to invest in the continued growth of the Club and its development as envisaged by this Plan.
We continue to operate tight financial controls, consider and challenge all items of expenditure, and look for opportunities to generate additional income where possible. We budget on an annual basis, and report to our members on our financial performance through presentation of our audited accounts at the Annual General Meeting.
A more strategic Five Year Financial Plan will be developed as progress is made against some of the key objectives outlined in this Development Plan, and as greater clarity is obtained on the key material aspects, notably the planning issues associated with the new pavilion project, and their implications for the type and the cost of the development that we are able to contemplate.
6. ACTIONS AND TIMELINES
To implement our strategies, and deliver against the key objectives set out in this Plan, set out overleaf is a series of initial actions planned for the 12 month period commencing 1st July,2017.
ACTION PLAN AND TIMELINES – 12 MONTHS COMMENCING 1st JULY,2017
- Prepare a role specification for an overseas professional player, research visa and tax implications, and identify employment and accommodation options [December,2017]
- Progress a dialogue with Surrey CC to establish a mutually beneficial relationship aimed at attracting Surrey CC young cricketers to represent Farnham CC [December,2017]
- Actively promote Farnham CC with other Clubs locally with a view to becoming the ‘Club of choice’ for players wishing to test their skills in the Surrey Championship [May,2018]
- Encourage additional volunteers to support the Youth section, and put in place a new management structure for the section overall and for the age group teams [January,2018]
- Undertake a survey of the Youth section to collect feedback on the current coaching and playing offer provided by the Club, and to identify improvements which can be put in place in response to this feedback [December,2017]
- Add to the Club’s contingent of trained and accredited coaches, and review the potential for adopting an ‘outsourced’ coaching model for the Youth section [March,2018]
- Undertake a structural survey of the current pavilion, and subsequently finalise the options either for the re-development and expansion of the current building or for the construction of a new pavilion [March,2018]
- Prepare and implement an Internal ‘One Club’ Communications Strategy aimed at enhancing communications and engagement with all Club members with respect to cricket performance, social events and Club developments [May,2018]
- Prepare and implement an External Communications Strategy to raise the Club’s profile locally, engage more effectively with stakeholders, sponsors and community groups, and to attract new members [March,2018]
- Secure Clubmark re-accreditation [October,2017]
- Develop a Commercial Plan to generate new revenues through hiring the Club’s facilities to external organisations, engaging with spectators and visitors to the Club, and through general fundraising activities [May,2018]
- Review subscription levels and match fees at all levels of the Club to ensure that they are at ‘market rate’ compared to other clubs of similar status with comparable facilities [February,2018]
- Commence an initiative to encourage more volunteers to support all aspects of the Club’s activities: eg managers, coaches, umpires, scorers, catering, fundraising, pavilion development, infrastructure maintenance, bar, BBQ, Committee membership etc [September,2017]