When the pandemic halted play, Bready Cricket Club helped served up Sunday lunches and activities to support the community that sustains it.
Bready Cricket Club in Co. Tyrone has been a key part of the village community for more than 80 years, providing grassroots sports coaching and competition to boys and girls, as well as senior players of both sexes. Its clubhouse is also a focal point for social gatherings.
When the pandemic stopped play, the club knew the community still needed it and decided to cook up free Sunday meals for the elderly, vulnerable and front-line workers on a weekend early in the first lockdown. This act of kindness was so well received that the club volunteers continued with the initiative.
Over 12 months, Bready’s Cricketing Cooks made and delivered meals every Sunday, serving up 4,500 portions in total. They did this despite the club being under intense financial pressure due to the cessation of sporting activities and the enforced closure of the clubhouse.
The club, which has been supported by The National Lottery in the past through Sport Northern Ireland, found additional ways to reach out to people around it and reduce isolation, running activities such as socially distanced keep fit and bingo, and socially distanced fun for the youth teams who had missed out on months of school and seeing friends.
The resulting growth in community participation has seen more volunteers flow into the club, many of whom have repaid the club member’s kindness by helping with essential maintenance work over the last year. A perfect example of a club building back better.
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