Cricket enthusiasts from across the county are being invited to bowl around the clock on Summer Solstice to raise funds for Farndon Cricket Club and leading mental health and wellbeing charity, Shaw Mind.
The Sunrise to Sunset Bat-a-thon has been organised by Martyn Hill (30) and is due to take place on Saturday 20th June 2020 from sun up at 4:43am until the sun sets at 9:21pm.
The challenge will call on support from local amateur cricketers of all abilities who are missing the sport, to step up and bowl against Martyn in 20-minutes slots, while adhering to social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
Participants are asked to bring their own cricket balls and to make a donation of a minimum of £20 which will be split between Farndon Cricket Club and Shaw Mind.
Martyn, who is a Chance to Shine Schools Officer and Junior Outlaws coach at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, has been a member of Farndon Cricket Club since he was 11 and has found solace in the game and its community during some difficult periods.
He said: “Cricket is a big part of my life; when I’m not promoting cricket in schools for Chance to Shine, I’m on the field coaching our junior team or playing for Farndon 1st team in the South Nottinghamshire Cricket League.
“Before the pandemic forced us all into lockdown, I was looking forward to this summer season where an afternoon playing on the field with my mates usually helps ease away any stresses and anxieties and reinvigorates me
“In the past I have struggled with my mental health and alongside support from family and friends, cricket has always been a major part of my recovery; it’s my happy place and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”
Martyn has set aside four one-hour sessions (8:53am, 11:58am, 2:38pm and 5:43pm) exclusively for Farndon’s junior members, which includes the club’s county age group representatives.
He added: “We have a really successful junior programme at Farndon, so I want to allow those youngsters with a real passion for the sport to be able to showcase their abilities during the challenge.”
Peter Wingrove, Operations Director at Shaw Mind, said: “We are delighted that Martyn is fundraising for us in addition to his beloved cricket club. Team activities, particularly sports, are a great way for people to support one another when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.
“We know that guys traditionally find it difficult to open up and talk about their feelings, so we’re pleased to see how comfortable Martyn is about talking things though with his teammates, he sets a great example.”
Newark-based Shaw Mind, a charity which supports those experiencing mental ill health, has adapted its weekly community outreach programme – which usually includes a men-only ManCave group, into an online, telephone, text and email support service during lockdown.
The charity has received more and more calls for support as the lockdown has continued and expects call numbers to increase even as the guidelines ease over the coming weeks and months.
Anyone wishing to take part in the Sunrise to Sunset Bat-a-thon needs to make a minimum £20 donation here: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sunrise-to-sunset-batathon
To secure their 20-minute bowling slot participants are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Slots are booked on a first come first served basis.
Donations are also welcome from those who want to support the causes but who don’t want to take part.
Anyone wanting to see how the challenge goes can view updates on Facebook via the event page Sunrise to Sunset Batathon or Shaw Mind’s Facebook page.