Unfortunately, the Leicester lockdown in July put plans on hold for the start of senior competitive cricket at Barrow Cricket Club, although junior cricket training started again over the summer for small groups, adhering to social distancing and equipment use guidelines. However, one of the benefits of the enforced break in cricket, Sam Shipman (from the club) told me, is that there has been time to make some “much needed uplifts and renovations around the ground” which are being completed by hardworking individuals “behind the scenes”. Barrow has also been one of the clubs to benefit from a share of £500,000 grant to support local teams through the pandemic. Summer would normally be the time of year when Barrow Cricket Club would be earning most of its income through bar sales or hiring out facilities – this is money that is vital to sustain activities through autumn and winter until the start of next season.
Similarly, Barrow Town Football Club has been unable to confirm any fixtures, although at the time of writing, the FA and individual counties were in discussion about this. The Club is limited in the number of changing rooms it can offer to players and match officials but, like the cricket club, they have been applying for different grants that become available. They have had no income since March, but still have outgoings like paying insurance and utility bills. They have been able to continue some training that is limited to five ‘bubble’ players and one coach, who is allowed to move between the ‘bubbles’. I caught up with the Under 8 Falcons: Henry Ball, Tommy Morrison, Harley Rudkin, Zach Shaw and Rocco Vine (sponsored by SK & J Solar) whilst they were practising their socially distanced goal scoring techniques in the Humphrey Perkins fields.