YOUNG members of a cricket club can practise in greater safety thanks to a new set of nets.
The Forest Exiles club was able to purchase the nets thanks to donations from local businesses, the Gloucestershire Playing Fields Association and Gloucestershire County Council’s Growing Our Communities Fund.
Exiles’ chairperson Mark Howells said: “We started the junior section in earnest last season.
“With the help of the Gloucestershire Playing Fields Association, businesses and Gloucestershire County Council, we have been able to purchase the nets which will make it much safer for the juniors to practise.”
The nets at Aylburton playing field will also be available for the wider community to use.
Mr Howells said: “The nets cost £1,900 which we could not have afforded ourselves.
“We are very grateful to all those who have contributed to it.”
Secretary of the Gloucestershire Playing Fields Association, Kay Lillington, said: “We have a youth sports start-up fund and because the net was needed for the youngsters to play, we allocated £500 from our youth sports fund which is enabling them to get youngsters to come to this club.”
The Forest Exiles club was set up in 2014, initially sharing a ground at Alvington.
The club then had a year at Lydney before moving to its current base at Aylburton.
Mr Howells said: “We have a great relationship with the trust that runs the field and we have a representative on the trust.
“The club is going from strength to strength and we are becoming part of the community in Aylburton.”
There are currently some 30 members at the club and they are keen to build the junior section.
Mr Howells said: “Last year the juniors played at under-13 level and they fulfilled every fixture.”
The first team plays in the Cheltenham, Gloucester and Forest League on Saturdays.
Last year the Exiles finished runners-up in the Premier division and narrowly missed out on promotion to the Gloucestershire County League.
The new season starts on Saturday (May 4).
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