A cricket club in Mirfield has netted a big name to open its new training facilities.
Yorkshire’s former England bowler Ryan Sidebottom will launch the countdown to the new season at Hopton Mills Cricket Club in Woodbottom, Lower Hopton.
Club officials secured a grant of £46,000 from Biffa Award to breathe new life into its practice facilities.
The cash has been used to replace its worn out nets and help attract more children and young people to take up the game.
Huddersfield-born Ryan, 37, who attended King James’ Grammar School in Almondbury and played for Kirkburton in his youth, is the son of former professional cricketer and footballer Arnie Sidebottom.
Ryan will officially open the new facilities on Sunday, January 25 at 10.30am. Everyone is welcome.
Club spokesman Andrew Moorhouse, who managed the project, said the facilities would be a “beacon of excellence” for the district.
He added: “The club has a long and proud tradition of producing talented local cricketers and encouraging continued participation into senior cricket.
“This has always been done against the odds and without proper training facilities. We see this as the start of the journey, a journey that will provide more opportunity for participation, expand our offering to the community, local schools and provide the facilities for both junior and senior cricketers to reach their potential.
“The club’s wholehearted thanks go to Biffa Award and members of the club involved in funding, promoting the facility and volunteering their own time to work on the project.”
The club also boasts new changing rooms and a professional bowling machine.
Gillian French, programme manager for Biffa Award, said the new facilities would benefit the wider community and added: “The improved area will be a fun, stimulating and engaging place which children and their parents can use.”
Biffa Award has given out grants totalling more than £150 million since 1997. The money comes from a tax on waste sent to landfill sites.
Hopton Mills is currently looking for under-9s, under-11s and under-13s. Contact Richard Myers on 07969 342933.