CHIPPING SODBURY's Andy Shield marked his re-election as chair of the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation for a second three-year term by immediately refocusing on ensuring the sport continues to grow and develop at all levels throughout the county.

The 62-year-old, along with Nigel Hill and Justin Hopwood, will also serve as a trustee for another three years.

Andy said: "I'm delighted to be continuing for a second term and with the support of a wide range of people.

"It has been, to say the least, an interesting journey to date as there have been a number of challenges for society - and the game - to deal with.

"The GCF became a charity in 2021, and this has coincided with a period of huge growth in terms of the number of people engaged with our organisation and cricket-based activities.

Gazette Series: Chipping Sodbury's Andy Shield was re-elected as chair of the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation"We feel that the move (to a charity) has been good for cricket - our clubs, leagues, schools and all of the people in the game - and we're making a real difference to people's lives thanks to initiatives such as Street Cricket, Disability Cricket, Wicketz, ACE and Walking Cricket.

"The outcomes are truly inspiring. But there's absolutely no room for complacency.

"We have to keep driving forward on many different fronts."

These include using the GRACE campaign - the GCF's equity, diversity and inclusion plan - to ensure the sport of cricket is available to everyone in Gloucestershire.

Andy, who still occasionally straps on his pads for Chipping Sodbury, added: "These are harsh economic times and behind the scenes we are looking at strategic funding to not only sustain the organisation but also to support growth in key areas.

"Women's and girls cricket is a good example.

"The growth in numbers in recent years has been fantastic but has, at some clubs, identified the need for change in terms of off-field facilities and ground availability.

"We're here to do whatever we can to offer expert help and support to ensure the sport continues to grow."

That support also extends to the GCF's 19 employees.

Andy added: "The best asset of any organisation is its people ... supporting, retaining, developing and their well-being are key priorities. This will ensure we continue to be a high-performing team and achieve success in everything we do.

"I believe we have a great culture and an excellent team ethic - any of our members of staff can enlist the help of our trustees and vice-versa. This keeps driving the GCF forward because if you stand still, any organisation will wither.

"I am sure I speak for everyone within GCF that we are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead and can't wait to get started."