Meet the Directors
Michael is the League's secretary and is in charge of day to day operations.
He is also secretary and third team cricketer at a club quite new to GMCL, Mottram Cricket Club. Here, Michael explains what's been happening at Mottram C.C. during the Covid-19 outbreak and their response to it.
The roundabout benefits of lockdown for an engaged and focused Cricket Club
Whilst we would prefer the status quo, lockdown has, in a strange way, given our club some useful knowledge and experiences, from which we are sewing some roots to grow from in the future.
Eight weeks into lockdown and five weeks into what would be the cricket season, we have managed to engage with our members and community more so than ever before. Eight virtual quiz evenings, a collective exercising programme and an organically grown mailing list later, we are arguably in a better shape from a communication and reach point of view than any status quo would have allowed for.
Weekly Quiz Night
We have held eight Virtual Quiz Nights each Saturday evening. Sure, you have seen online quizzes popping up all over during this period and will have likely taken part in one at some level.
However, singing our own virtual praises for a moment, we have been privileged to take advantage of access to useful tech and a furloughed worker, allowing us to give some high production quality.
Naturally, that means some man hours are necessary to deliver each week, from question setting, to graphics, marking and presenting.
What we have stumbled unwittingly into, is an audience devoid of live Saturday night TV and pubs, and accidentally built a following of upwards of thirty teams each week. This translates into the hundreds taking part when you factor in the average number of people per team is over 4.
£2000+ in donations later, we are both proud and humbled. At such a tough and strange time, comments such as “it is the highlight of my family’s week”, make the effort all worthwhile.
You can view an example of the latest quiz here. Whilst our blueprint has perhaps more time poured into than is considered sane, it would not have to be that way. You need some questions and a platform; your audience don’t have much better to do at the moment.
An organic and focused Mailing list
A biproduct of a weekly quiz, is an opportunity to capture some email addresses. Emails are power. It is a direct form of communication. Coupled with a new method of signing up members for 2020, we have built a list of 150 emails, tagged specifically to sporadically receive certain types of news, ranging from player specific to club and community wide. This has all been achieved using Google Forms.
Whilst the numbers may appear small, the focused “marketing” you can deliver with an email, is the powerful part. Some may collect email addresses but do nothing with them, some may have dabbled but not got a process in place.
We use MailChimp. Anyone can do it, just be sure to read up a bit on GDPR (don’t be afraid!) for small businesses and bodies.
Collective Exercise programme
No, this is not a failed Soviet Union mantra, rather a way of encouraging exercise across the community and members. You can view our example here, titled ‘The Mottram March”.
The concept was to set a target distance (1614km in this case, a route between all 18 County Cricket Grounds), raise awareness of the idea (you can see the where that mailing list comes in handy), and then record the results in a tangible format. People like graphs and charts, they like to see progress and they sure like competition.
Statistics from The March were that 45 people took part over the course of 6 days, averaging 33km per person. The disciplines were cycling, walking, or running. It reached both members and non-members, ages 6 to 75.
It produced competitive running between friends at a time when daily exercise had just been lifted. It gave a focus for those who had been threatening to go out and do something for the past seven weeks. It also raised over £350 in sponsorship.
I am missing cricket terribly, but I am also excited about what we have and continue to do. There are plans afoot to hold an online virtual race night, which will really test our limits of technology and administration!
I hope these examples give some ideas to club officials, to help engage new and existing members, and raise vital funds to help protect the futures of your clubs.
Should anyone from any of our GMCL clubs fancy a chat on the above or what we are doing… I am that furloughed worker who now has lots of time on his hands!
My upbringing that forms my work today, was at ‘my’ team, Stalybridge Celtic FC. My Grandparents served as directors and treasurers throughout the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. I started attending aged 5 to watch games. As I got a bit older, I started helping out more and more. My first official voluntary role was as Assistant Secretary, aged 16, followed a year later as Club Secretary. Aged 20, I was asked to become the club’s General Manager, responsible for all things, ranging from the accounts and sponsorship to contracts etc. I still go whenever I can. Premier League football is rubbish!
In 2018, I was then given a chance to work as Assistant Club Secretary at Barnsley FC, seeing a relegation from the Championship and a promotion from League One, during my 2 years there.
I currently work for Oldham Athletic AFC as Football Secretary. I am currently the youngest Secretary, at 24, in the EFL and have been at OAFC since January 2020.
Oh and I’m a distinctly average cricketer! Involvement in Mottram CC meant I got the chance to go to Australia for the 5th test of the last Ashes series. Best time of my life.
Secretary & Committee Member