Approaching Boulder Parc in early April in becomes apparent that Constantine Cricket Club has been very busy during the off season.

As a club Constantine have had the same hard struggles as any in the country through the last 12 months: a start-stop 2020 season, loss of revenue and general uncertainty. However, one thing that has flourished is the community backbone at the club.

As a small village club dotted rurally between Helston and Falmouth, the club’s real problem is attracting players, and with the participation trend throughout the country lessening each year, running a small club is no mean feat.

Looking through Cornish cricket handbooks, a huge number of clubs have lost 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams over the years and many clubs are out of existence completely. Despite this ‘The Tine’ are fighting back. The winter of 2020/2021 saw the relatively new committee meet online regularly and hatch a plan to sustain the club and to keep moving forwards.

Constantine Cricket Club is looking forward to the new season

Constantine Cricket Club is looking forward to the new season

The continuation of the youth set-up, Constantine Cobras, was agreed following a season break due to Covid in 2020, as the dates were launched in late March. Instant sign ups came in and 75% of the cohort from 2019 returned with great excitement.

The Cobras' cricket has an ethos about it that is almost more about off the field engagement than cricket. The club's youth development officer is Graham Griffiths, who said: “It is fantastic to see so many of our 2019 group returning to enjoy the scheme for 2021; it brings a real feel good feeling within the club that the future is looking bright."

He added: “The sessions are strongly built around building friendships, building confidence, and getting the fresh air we have all missed over the last 12 months. If this can be done through playing cricket then this is a great solution to these aspects of living a mentally and physically healthy life.

"The sessions are high paced, fun and we leave the Cobras wanting to return the next week.”

The ground being prepared for the new season

The ground being prepared for the new season

The committee feel that growing the next generation of cricketers in house and turning the club into a community hub is a great way to build for the coming years, and a solution to the player attraction issue.

Other work that has been done is to apply for an alcohol licence and to build a bar in the club – not just about creating a revenue for the club, but also about making it more family welcoming. Attracting people of all ages to the club may just bring a player, or even a volunteer.

With new training and playing kit for 2021 sponsored by generous local businesses, the club is clearly moving forward and upwards.

The club has new kit

The club has new kit

With other projects in the pipeline such as a new net facility, and ever ongoing work to the playing surface, it seems the approach to 2021 and onwards is to 'build it and they will come'.

Griffiths said: "The club is in a great position with an ever growing Cobras scheme, two Saturday league sides and a Sunday social side.

"With a tour to Menorca every two years there is a real positive vibe at the club, enhanced by the 1st XI success in the short 2020 season in reaching the league final."

The club is always keen to hear from anyone who would like to get on board at Boulder Parc, where the willing band of volunteers who look after the club are passionate about its future.

They always looking for people to get involved as a player, coach, or volunteer. You can find out more by searching for Constantine Cricket Club on Facebook, or Constantine Cobras for the youth.

Cobras sessions run on a Tuesday evening for 2021, from 6pm to 7pm, with the under 10s playing softball cricket. Enquiries can also be made to Graham Griffiths on 07864 338787.