A Call to Connect

18 March 2021

In what was an incredibly difficult winter lockdown period for all, older members of Gloucestershire Cricket could still feel connected to the Club through phone calls with players and the wider staff.   

The Club reached out to over 250 members over the age of 70, conversing for thousands of minutes about all manner of things, not just cricket. Coaches, players, and other members of staff learned of our members’ personal situations while sharing their own individual struggles and uplifting stories.

With Members and supporters unable to attend cricket matches in 2020, many appreciated the chance to speak to the likes of David Payne and Josh Shaw about how the season went and their hopes for 2021.

The response received to the calls was wholly positive, with the common theme expressed of an overwhelming desire to watch cricket live again, although many did catch a few games on the Gloscricket Match Centre.

Gloucestershire Cricket Community Engagement Officer, Pete Lamb said:

“The focus of the calls was simply to ensure our Members continue to feel a part of Gloucestershire Cricket through this extraordinary time. A friendly chat, some light-hearted conversation and a different voice to talk to has become a luxury during such uncertain times. The feedback has been heart-warming and has shown there is definitely a requirement for further support.”

Members who found the calls beneficial in any way can also take advantage of other opportunities provided to speak with like-minded people, even after the pandemic is a distant memory.

The Sporting Memories Foundation offers the chance for people to come together once a week to share and discuss memories of sporting events gone by. Meetings that would normally be situated at the Bristol County Ground are still happening thanks to the video communications platform, Zoom.

Free for anyone to join, the Zoom meetings will continue to take place on a weekly basis even after “normality” is restored. Members and supporters are encouraged to get involved. 

Pete Lamb continued:

“We’re proud to have a longstanding partnership with The Sporting Memories Foundation, an organisation tackling issues such as loneliness or, as we’ve seen over the past 12 months, isolation.

"These fantastic reminiscence sessions have moved into a virtual world for the time being, and the intention is for these to run alongside the face-to-face group when the time is right, meaning everyone can get involved no matter where they live.

Gloucestershire bowler Josh Shaw, who spoke to many Members, said:

“Having Members and supporters at the ground was really missed by us in 2020, and we can’t wait for that to change this season. Speaking with Members over the past few weeks has shown us how difficult this time has been for many.

The weekly Sporting Memories sessions create an opportunity for people to socialise with like-minded cricket supporters. Anybody that thinks it might be beneficial for them should definitely give it a try.”

To find out more about the Sporting Memories Sessions please see below. If you know someone who may be interested, feel free to share this information using this link here.

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