Cricket NSW today announces the Cricket in Goulburn Strategy to grow cricket in the Goulburn and Crookwell region over the next four years.

The release of the strategy follows six months of community consultations and discussions, setting the agenda for both senior and junior cricket in the region.

The announcement coincides with the Sydney Thunder Regional Tour of Southern Inland NSW where seam bowler Rene Farrell and exciting teenager Ollie Davies will visit the region for three days from Tuesday to Thursday.

The Goulburn Strategy, designed to unite all cricket stakeholders in the community, will align school programs with the timing of junior cricket recruitment.

It will establish a Woolworths Master Blaster program under the auspices of the Goulburn District Junior Cricket Association as well as moving towards a change of age groups from Under 12, 14 and 16 to Under 11, 13 and 15 over the next three seasons, to increase the alignment with the Cricket NSW representative Pathway.

A working group will also be established over the next 12 months to develop a project plan for the introduction of aligned clubs in the Junior and Senior competitions. This will look to support the recruitment and retention of players and transition from junior to senior cricket.

The governance structure of the currently separate junior and senior associations will also be reviewed with a view to establish a unified, singular structure to govern both levels of cricket into the future.

Cricket NSW Area Manager for Southern NSW and ACT, Martin Gleeson, highlighted how crucial it was to engage the community in the process.

“Cricket in Goulburn and Crookwell has a long and illustrious history and is an integral part of the community fabric,” Gleeson said.

“With club participation numbers declining over the past few years now was the right time to bring stakeholders in together and plan for the future.

“There are some high quality and passionate volunteers in club land and the schools. (This) process was designed to ignite local ideas and solutions using open and evidence-based discussions to then set a roadmap to achieve our purpose for cricket to unite and inspire communities.”

Cricket NSW Southern Inland Cricket Manager, Michael Minns, identified that one of the key takeaways was the need to have a clear pathway for junior players in the Goulburn region as they transition into senior cricket.

“Transitioning from entry level programs into club cricket, and then again from the back end of junior cricket into senior cricket, were the two areas identified by the community as the most important to support,” Minns said.

“A key for us now is to ensure the quality of cricket delivery at each school, and to effectively supply the right information to kids and parents to join the Association."

Goulburn District Junior Cricket Association Vice President, Gary Mortimer, stressed the importance of following through on these strategic objectives.

“Goulburn owned the process, and Goulburn owns the outcomes” Mortimer said.

“Because we own it and have driven its development, then it’s important we take the responsibility of driving it now and seeing it through to an acceptable end.

“As the community begins to understand what the goals are then there’s more scope to get involved.

“We want to involve the cricket specific and wider community in the achievement of this Strategic Plan."

To download a copy of the Cricket in Goulburn Strategy here.