Three Sunraysia cricket venues will receive more than $740,000 collectively to undertake facility upgrades to increase and improve participation, following a partnership between Cricket Australia, Cricket Victoria, Australian Cricketers’ Association and players, and Mildura Rural City Council.
The upgrades are made possible through $110,000 in Australian Cricket Infrastructure Funding (ACIF) and include:
- competition-standard lighting at the Old Aero Sporting Complex Oval Two
- permanent cricket practice nets at Ouyen’s Blackburn Park
- new/additional cricket nets at Red Cliffs’ Quandong Park.
Mildura Mayor Jason Modica said the upgrades would provide a major boost to participation in cricket and other sports in the region.
“This is a fantastic result for both cricket and our broader community and shows what can be achieved through a collaborative approach between local clubs, Council, Cricket Australia, Australian Cricketers’ Association and Cricket Victoria,” Cr Modica said.
“Each week hundreds of local players, spanning juniors through to Division 1 seniors are able to enjoy the competitive, social and health benefits of taking to the field.
“These projects will ensure our hard-working volunteer-run clubs and their members can increase both participation and diversity within their groups.
“A big thank-you must go to Cricket Australia, Cricket Victoria and the ACA/players. It’s great to see their ongoing and strong support for cricket in regional areas.”
Cricket Victoria Chief Executive Officer Andrew Ingleton said:
“What an amazing result for our cricket infrastructure in the Mallee Murray region, with this all made possible by the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund,” Mr Ingleton said.
“Our partnership with Mildura Rural City Council has produced fantastic results for local community venues and will foster growth in our game for many years to come throughout the region. Also, Cricket Victoria is very pleased to announce the outcomes of our state-wide 2019-20 ACIF funding program in partnership with Mildura Rural City Council.”
Competition-standard lighting at Old Aero Sporting Complex Oval Two ($50,000 ACIF funding)
Competition-standard lighting will be installed to cater for the significant increase in female cricket and football participation at this venue, which has doubled in the past six years to include up to 120 players.
This project will provide more flexibility in night-time scheduling for the Sunraysia Cricket Association, Mildura West Cricket Club and Werrimull Football Club, allowing for more female, mixed and junior matches at the Old Aero Sporting complex.
Blackburn Park Cricket Training Facility ($20,000 ACIF funding)
Installation of a permanent two-lane cricket practice net facility to replace the existing portable nets.
By introducing permanent cricket nets it will minimise the need for maintenance on the oval and provide more opportunities for players to bat and bowl at training, allowing for higher quality training and participation.
This project has also been funded by Mildura Rural City Council, with $15,000 from the Recreation Facilities Upgrade Grants round of funding.
Quandong Park Cricket Net Upgrade ($40,000 ACIF funding)
The existing four-pitch cricket nets will be replaced with a five-pitch synthetic turf cricket net facility, which will be fully fenced and include one fixed internal net and three retractable nets. This project will increase participation levels within the Red Cliffs Cricket Association, as well as providing a better playing/training experience for players and volunteers.
The current cricket nets cater for about 100 players each week, which is expected to increase to 130 once the new facilities are completed. They will also help cater for the increasing growth in junior player numbers in the Association, which has gone from six players to 38 in the past three seasons.
This project is also funded by the Victorian State Government with $100,000 through Sport and Recreation Victoria Community Cricket Program.