Two of the main priority areas identified by Cricket Shropshire as part of its ECB five-year Inspiring Generations strategy are volunteers and club development.
A key element of this is grounds maintenance.
Steve said: “Quite simply, without a pitch, we haven’t got a game of cricket. We are noticing more grounds people disappearing from the game, and so we need to step in and support and nurture that network.
“We need clubs to really start considering the equipment that they are using and help them understand what they are doing.
“It is critical to get experts on-board that can release this information into the network and support them. I see Dennis and SISIS as key partners and playing an integral role in this respect.”
The two British manufacturers have been long-term supporters of grassroots sports; frequently offering training and education for eager-to-learn volunteers.
The two brands are also well known to many within cricket for their range of hand and powered tools and fine turf cylinder mowers. From grass roots to schools and from local clubs to international test venues, it is not un-common to see a Dennis or a SISIS machine preparing pitches and outfields.
Roger Moore, Sales and Marketing Manager for Dennis and SISIS, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Cricket Shropshire and we look forward to helping them achieve their objectives over the next five years.
“Dennis and SISIS are very passionate about supporting grass roots sport wherever we can.”
The partnership has helped Cricket Shropshire to train three new County Pitch Advisors to work alongside the two existing experience advisors in the county.
Steve says: “From my perspective, Dennis and SISIS are well established, reputable British firms. The products are good, built to last, and there are a lot of them around the county and the country.
“I believe the main reason for the partnership is that they can offer us the education and support we require.
“My vision is to really focus on and develop a network of grounds people.
“We are a large geographical area, and I would like to see perhaps four regional hubs who meet on a quarterly basis. At these meetings it would be great for experts to provide workshops and presentations – as we did at our pre-season workshop at Shifnal.
“Also, because economics come into it, it might be nice for everyone to come together and introduce some kind of equipment share.
“I’d like to see more youngsters coming through and learning about grounds maintenance too – as we have been encouraging in our Young Ambassadors programme.
“To achieve our goal, we need boots on the ground and continue to keep building on the expertise we can offer. I feel we are in a very strong position.”