ROYAL Wootton Bassett Cricket Club are hoping a new sponsorship deal will help convince teenagers in the town to stick with the sport once they leave school.

Bassett were bowled over when they secured £750 as one of the beneficiaries of Persimmon Homes’ Healthy Communities campaign and confirmed they would use the funds to purchase a new kit for their U19s squad.

“We’re thrilled to receive this generous donation from Persimmon Homes,” said grants coordinator Warwick Mattick.

“It’s a very busy club with lots going on. With that comes extra pressure to continue to raise funds.

“When players get to the age of 16, lots of them leave cricket and move on to play other sports. We want to encourage youngsters to continue playing cricket into adulthood.

“We hope a brand-new strip will help players to feel proud of the team they are a part of – and continue to enjoy the sport. The U19s will be kitted out and ready for play in 2018.”

The club, who are based at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, have been boosted by a scheme that will see Persimmon give away more than £600,000 to sporting causes across the UK. As well as regional donations, there is a top national prize of £200,000 up for grabs.

A host of regional prizes of £750 have been donated since its launch in May, with amateur sports teams and individuals aged 21 years and under across the county eligible to apply for the Persimmon Homes Wessex awards. The money is to be spent on sports kit, equipment, coaching or facilities.

The new fund is in addition to the £720,000 the company already donates through its hugely successful Community Champions scheme each year.

Persimmon are building new houses at nearby Badbury Park and St Andrews Ridge and marketing and sales director Pauline Fletcher said: “We’re delighted to make this donation to the cricket club, which provides so much enjoyment for so many people in Wootton Bassett.

“We are committed to supporting the communities in which we are working.”

“We are currently building a collection of stunning new houses at our nearby developments at Badbury Park and St Andrews Ridge, where we have already seen strong sales.”