Nuffield Health Tees Hospital has strengthened its support for community sport in a new sponsorship deal with Norton Cricket Club (CC).

The hospital’s sponsorship will help the club’s fundraising campaign to support its growing junior setup and its work to encourage more local youngsters to take up the game.

Part of a nation-wide not-for-profit healthcare organisation, Nuffield Health Tees Hospital in Stockton has been providing private healthcare to patients in the region for 40 years this year.

Norton CC is located just a short distance from the hospital and has a rich history in the club cricket setup, having won the North Yorkshire South Durham League (NYSD) 11 times, the Kerridge Cup seven times and the prestigious MacMillan Cup eight times. The club has four men’s teams playing across the divisions, a women’s team and is well regarded for its junior setup, having won the NYSD youth title a record 18 times.

The 2021 season is set to be an exciting year for Norton CC. The first team is pushing for promotion in Division 2 and the second team is competing in Division 3.

Ross Huntley, sales and services manager at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, said: “As a healthcare provider we understand the importance of recreational sports and exercise in looking after our physical and mental wellbeing at any age.

“We are committed to playing an active role in backing grass roots sport in our local community and delighted to support Norton CC. They’re a fantastic local club doing great things to encourage kids of all ages to try out their junior activities and we’d like to wish them the best of luck for this season.”

As part of the hospital’s deal with the club, Nuffield Health will have its branding featured on the junior kit and around the club grounds. It also has plans to host a family day for staff to enjoy a home game when coronavirus restrictions allow.

Neil Fox, Norton CC chairman, said: “We’re delighted to have this support from Nuffield Health Tees Hospital. It has been a challenging time for community clubs during the pandemic and the generosity of local supporters is helping to ensure we can continue to thrive, keep building our successful youth setup and offer our young people the opportunity to enjoy a life time of playing cricket.”