Ex-Nottingham player Darren Bicknell is now Commercial Director of Warsop Sporting Trust
For first-rate football, cricket and bowls facilities right at the heart of the community, look no further than The John Fretwell Sporting Complex, Sookholme, Mansfield - the high-tech new home for local sports.
Set on Sookholme Road, opposite the Hostess Restaurant, in 19 acres of land, this superb new £2.8m super-centre boasts two full-sized cricket pitches, four football pitches, a bowling green, indoor nets with advanced video linkage for coaching, plus immaculate multi-use changing rooms.
There's also a lavish function room, spacious conference facilities and plush, 120-seat lounge bar with three giant-screen TVs, making the complex a real winner for sporting and special events alike.
Run by Warsop Sporting Trust with Ex Surrey, Nottinghamshire and England A Cricketer Darren Bicknell as Commercial Director the high-profile complex is home to Welbeck Colliery Cricket Club and Market Warsop Football Club, and will host county and Notts junior cricket fixtures, plus league representative matches and an array of exciting, all-star sporting events.
Planning for the state-of-the-art complex began in 2005, when former Welbeck cricketer and current club president, John Fretwell - one of the complex's trustees - sold his chain of JTF warehouses and began a search for land.
He explained: "At the time, we had six successful teams at Welbeck Cricket Club and were coaching over 90 promising youngsters on a Friday night. The interest was immense - we simply outgrew our facilities at Warsop and needed something else.
"I set my heart on a community project, something to benefit local youth and also leave a legacy for me - hence the idea of The John Fretwell Sporting Complex was born."
Following a land sale with David Bowring, Ollerton-based JDA Design embarked upon an ambitious 12-month design-and-build project in January 2006, with local firm Woodhead's builders completing the task in February this year.
Impressively versatile, the complex's indoor nets area transforms into a superb, carpeted, cabaret-style facility complete with stage, ambiance lighting and dance floor, making it the ideal place for large celebrations - whilst the lounge bar is the perfect choice for smaller functions and conferences.
Full event catering is provided by Geoff and Sue Walker at the Hostess Restaurant, whilst the complex's changing rooms easily adapt into spacious, well-equipped conference facilities.
Former Derbyshire cricketer Alan Morris completes the team as community sports development officer, and will be visiting local schools in due course in a bid to identify and actively encourage young talent.
Mr. Bicknell said: "We are very proud of what we have here; it really is a fantastic facility.''
"Mansfield Town Football Club are now using us as a training base and plans are in place to get the full Nottinghamshire cricket team playing up here. We're very optimistic for the future."
For enquiries or more information on the John Fretwell Sporting Complex, call Darren Bicknell or Clare Crofts on 01623 847468