Mark Surridge steps down as Chairman
After six years in the position, Halstead Cricket Club’s Mark Surridge has stepped down as Chairman.
Surridge had informed the committee of during the season of his desire to vacate the role and after a considered search, Dave Brooker was elected his successor at the Club’s AGM.
Surridge came into the role at a time that the club was discussing the disbanding of the Saturday Third Eleven, the viability of continuing Sunday league cricket and dwindling participation numbers across both the junior and senior sides.
The former schoolmaster’s tenure has coincided with an upturn in fortunes both on and off the pitch. Surridge said ‘Our membership has soared, with significantly greater numbers of both juniors and seniors playing for the Club, and performances on Saturdays and Sundays have improved, partly as our own young players have graduated from our junior ranks to play senior cricket’.
The 1st XI restored their Division One status and have cemented themselves in the top half of the table, the 2nd and 3rd XIs have consolidated in their respective divisions and the Sunday side has gone from strength to strength, achieving two league titles in three years.
‘Halstead has once again been attracting good cricketers to join us - case in point our Young Cricketer of the Year, Josh King, - thus increasing our potency as a force in local cricket’.
Surridge was quick to mention those that have been integral to the improved state of affairs. ‘It has come about through a great deal of hard work. I would like to thank those hard-working volunteers who have given their time and efforts, serving on committees, maintaining the grounds, or serving as Officers of the Club for helping revitalise the Cricket Club’.
‘I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our Secretary, Neil Morris, who has his fingers so closely on the pulse of the club that nothing gets missed. He sees the bigger picture – problems on the horizon or fulfilling the weekly tasks that are essential to the club’s operation’.
‘[Treasurer] Ken Paisley has continued the important work undertaken by Trevor Cooper in getting the club back on a sound financial footing. Dave Brooker has taken two roles; Welfare Officer and Secretary of the Juniors and is responsible for organising our expanding coaching programme. Phil Toogood is using his all his cricketing experience and motivational skills in the challenging role of Director of Cricket. Our President Stuart Berger has run our Corporate Lunches for as many years as I can remember and done so with great panache’.
‘We now have a dedicated group of people running both the adult and the junior sections, have a flourishing junior membership - meeting through the summer on Friday nights -where the two outfields are alive with young enthusiastic cricketers, the bar is busy with parents and friends enjoying relaxation and catering. The club has regained its heartbeat’
Surridge has signed off with a ‘call to arms’ that too much work and effort at the club falls upon the broad shoulders of too few.
‘We are a small, family club and all enjoy the welcoming spirit, but now more than ever we need additional help and assistance to continue to maintain and grow the club’.
‘I am delighted that Dave Brooker has agreed to take over as Chairman as he shares the same passion for Halstead Cricket Club as I do, and he is similarly fully committed to the development of our Juniors’ coaching programme that will ensure exciting cricket opportunities for boys and girls in the Halstead area’.