The Charlestown Junior Cricket Club will be the envy of its rivals next season.
The organisation recently unveiled its new $338,000 training facilities – which includes combined synthetic and turf nets – at Kahibah Oval.
The project was funded through the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Cricket Legacy, Australian Cricket Infrastructure and the Community Sports Infrastructure funds.
Federal Senator Hollie Hughes said she was delighted to officially open the newly-upgraded amenities, which will support the region’s up and coming cricket talent.
“It’s not just about the future generations of talented players that will train here,” she stated.
“It’s about the participation of any young player that wants to enjoy the fabulous sport of cricket.
“I’m delighted these new facilities will address the shortage of all-year-round nets in Charlestown, Newcastle and the greater Lake Macquarie area.”
The federal government contributed funding via its $100 million national Community Sports Infrastructure Fund.
NSW Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the project was a great example of how the NSW ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Cricket Legacy Fund benefitted grassroots cricket across the state.
“We’ve provided $6 million to clubs and councils to support more than 200 developments and we’re proud to see the positive impact on cricket,” he added.
“Earlier this year the Legacy Fund supported the construction of facilities at Wallsend, Stockton and Salamander Bay.
“So, it’s fantastic to see it aiding grassroots cricket across the Hunter.
“These projects will benefit all levels of cricket in the region, from girls and boys picking up a bat and ball for the first time, to the region’s elite players.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin said the facilities would help ensure the sport remained strong in the Hunter.
“Newcastle has a robust local competition feeding young players into representative teams,” he explained.
“This project will guarantee the region’s legacy as a breeding ground for some of the state’s best cricketers and allow local players to continue to dream of wearing the baggy green or baggy blue.”
Cricket NSW chief executive officer Lee Germon said the facility would help to foster the love of cricket, increase participation and support the player development pathway.
“It will not only provide an outstanding playing and training venue for Charlestown junior and senior teams but has the potential to be a year-round, regional high-performance venue in the greater Hunter cricket area,” he added.
“We are delighted to have partnered with the federal government, NSW Government via the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Legacy Fund and Cricket Australia via the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund.
“I’d also like to acknowledge and thank the Charlestown senior and junior clubs for their contribution and efforts in creating a welcoming environment to unite and inspire the community to play and love our game.”
The NSW ICC T20 World Cup Legacy Fund is delivering up to $6 million to cricket clubs and councils to support the growth in cricket participation in NSW and ensure a lasting legacy from the Women’s and Men’s T20 World Cups.