Cricket: Brigade bats its way to success as main stream bank gets generous

Gary Midleton MLA with Ian Duddy, Danske Bank and Brigade Cricket Club youth coach Gareth Conor and youth cricketer Brad Conor.

Gary Midleton MLA with Ian Duddy, Danske Bank and Brigade Cricket Club youth coach Gareth Conor and youth cricketer Brad Conor.

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Brigade Cricket Club is celebrating after receiving a grant from Danske Bank.

The money was provided through the bank’s Staff Grant scheme and will be used to purchase new equipment and train a new coach.

Danske Bank Staff Grants recognises the value of volunteering that employees undertake in their own personal time.

The Staff Grants work by providing support of up to £500 to charitable and not-for-profit organisations, with which Danske Bank staff volunteer.

Since its launch the scheme has donated nearly £100,000 to a variety of voluntary groups and clubs across Northern Ireland.

The Club works with young sportsmen and women, encouraging them to fulfill their potential and demonstrate a competitive spirit within the game.

The aim of the Club is to prmotoe community relations, bringing children together through a development programme for underage teams.

Ian Duddy, an ECB level one coach at the Club and an Acting Manager at Danske Bank’s Mallusk branch said: “The main objective of the club is to promote and develop sport in the greater Londonderry area, engaging children in positive and challenging activities.

“As a result of working for Danske Bank, we will be able to purchase a catching frame, cricket stumps and balls.

“We will also be able to finance a course for one additional coaching qualification. “Together these will help enhance the overall quality of youth development in cricket.”

Local MLA for the area, Gary Middleton, said: “I have been greatly impressed by the dedication and commitment of not just Ian but all the coaches at the Club.

“Every coach gives up valuable time on a weekly basis to ensure the smooth running of the Club and to provide a programme encouraging community relationships. “

The Londonderry MLA said its good to see a bank recognising the contributions volunteers make to local clubs and organisations across the board.

“I’m glad that Danske Bank also recognises the importance of volunteers and support its staff in this way.

“Ian has been involved with the Club for over 20 years and it is great to see the positive impact the Club is having on children of all ages in the local area.”

Brigade Cricket Club, situated at Beechgrove, just off the Limavady Road, has a storied history.

Originally located at the Brandywell, the club first moved in 1920 to Black’s Field, Glendermott Road and then in 1921 to Beechgrove where it has remained ever since. It fields two adult teams, a Mid-Week Team and three Youth Teams (U14, U16 & U19).

New members are, of course, always welcome whether as a player, supporter or socially.

As well as competing across several age groups in the local cricket leagues the club is also a social hub for the central Waterside area.

Brigade Cricket Club’s bar, club house and function room facilities have also hosted many charity fundraisers and also provided the setting for many a happy family celebration.