4 women standing in front of The Oval in Kingston

Hampton Wick Royal Cricket Club desperate to return sport to The Wick

Hampton Wick Royal Cricket Club are fundraising to return all sport back at The Wick after a fire burnt down their sports pavilion on September 7.

The club had planned an exciting year to celebrate 16o years of establishment but instead battle the difficulties of building interim facilities to resume all sports which the Wick is home to.

Many teams have been rehoused due to the absence of changing rooms and toilet facilities with running water, inhibiting them from playing any home games.

Members of the committee and community have united during this hardship to help ‘Get Sports Back at the Wick’ after destruction.

Ian Collier and Lucy Spray, both devoted members of the club, have set up active fundraisers to kickstart this goal and encourage those who can help to get involved.

Ian, third team cricket captain, will march 42km through the countryside as part of the Endurancelife Suffolk Marathon commencing on October 14.

He has spent 13 years at the club, dedicating his time as a coach, captain, and cricket player and running several fundraising events to develop the club throughout the year.

Ian explained: “We are a community club.

“As well as cricket, the Wick is home to rugby, football, and various local groups.

“All these people are now homeless in a sense.

“We’re looking to get portable cabins as we are a mixed sports club, catering for kids, women, and girls. We can’t just chuck everyone in a box to get changed together.

“What we’re trying to do is fundraise so we can actually get sport up and running again at the ground.”

Lucy set up a fundraiser of her own called ‘Wick Women Walk’ – an astonishing 18.63km walk starting from The Oval, Kennington, all the way to The Wick, Kingston.

She was accompanied by Sabine, Elin and Delyth, all wives and mothers of passionate club members who completed this initiative.

Lucy said: “The pavilion was so much more than just a building, this was the heart of our Club and was loved by all members.

“We lost memories and things that can’t be replaced like the honours board and pictures we can’t bring back.”

Sam Kemp, the club’s chairman, has released regular updates and thanking those who have donated.

He wrote: “It’s been tough, but the reaction from the cricketing community – and sport as a whole – has been humbling.

“The Wick phoenix will rise from the ashes better and stronger.”

Despite this tragedy, Hampton Wick Royal Cricket Club looks ahead to a brighter future and are recruiting for Harlequin Amateurs women’s rugby squad.

Supporting a Club-wide policy, they encourage girls of all ages and abilities into sport and urgently strive to build appropriate facilities to accommodate them.

Earlier this year, Hampton Wick Royal’s U11 girls won the Surrey League, an impressive accomplishment in their debut season of the competition.

The chairman added: “We can’t wait to see what the future holds for girls and women’s cricket at the Wick!”

With the help of donations, the club can bring sport back to The Wick and celebrate their achievements on what should be one happy 160th anniversary.

*Feature image is extracted from ‘Wick Women Walk’ fundraiser with permission from Lucy Spray*

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