Cricket NSW, in conjunction with Eurobodalla Shire Council and its three resident clubs, has released its strategy to grow cricket participation within the Shire over the next three years and beyond.
The strategy process was launched in March with a community workshop highlighting key local trends and discussing the current challenges and needs of the Eurobodalla cricket community.
A key outcome from the workshop was the identification that each cricket club is the hub of their community and that each club could be aligned to Shire precincts.
This aligns with the Eurobodalla Shire Council Recreation and Open Space Strategy, released in 2018, serving to develop relationships between clubs, their catchment schools and local facility needs.
The Strategy has four clear aims to grow cricket across the Eurobodalla Shire:
1. Grow school programs and align them to club cricket
2. Develop a pathway to provide participation opportunities for players of all levels, involving the Woolworths Cricket Blast
3. Provide support to volunteers, enabling them to drive a positive environment for members and participants
4. Build and maintain suitable amenities to meet the current and future needs of the sport
Cricket NSW Area Manager Southern NSW & ACT, Martin Gleeson, recognised the contribution of Council in the development of the Strategy and its whole of cricket approach.
“Eurobodalla Shire Council have been very proactive and integral in this project. Their contribution has been crucial in bringing the final Strategy together,” Gleeson said.
“One of the challenges for cricket in Eurobodalla is that there is no local Association and the three resident clubs play in different competitions or grades.
“This makes the collaboration between Council, Cricket NSW and clubs all the more meaningful with all parties committed to support each other in achieving shared outcomes.”
Eurobodalla Shire Council Recreation Development Coordinator, Mathew Neason, welcomed the opportunity for Council to work with key stakeholders through this process.
“The collaboration and cooperation throughout this process has been really positive.” Neason said.
“The end result is a strategy that will support the growth and development of cricket throughout Eurobodalla for years to come.
“Cricket NSW are already doing great work in our local schools, as are our clubs in their respective communities. This plan ensures that those efforts are fully aligned, and that all parties are pushing in the same direction”.
Cricket NSW Cricket Manager for the South Coast, Greg Richards-Riches, sees a great opportunity for cricket to strengthen through this Strategy.
“Fifteen key focus areas across the four key pillars of clubs, schools, off-field and facilities make (up the Plan),” Richards-Riches said.
“As part of the strategy, we will work with local schools to run all School Cups in the region (during) Term 3 or Term 4 and connect them with the clubs so that they can serve as a recruitment tool as well as a participation opportunity in their own right.
Richards-Riches explained that the plan will entail establishing a Woolworths Cricket Blast centre in Moruya and at Southern Eurobodalla Cricket Club, building a sustainable junior program for the Tuross Head club and re-establish an Under 16 team in the Shoalhaven District Cricket Association.
“Female cricket is also on the radar with growth targeted for the Batemans Bay social competition and establishing extra female participation opportunities in secondary schools and at Southern Eurobodalla and Tuross Head,” he said.
“Access to more training programs and resources for club volunteers will also be offered over the next three years, as well as Council identifying key facility upgrades and completing master plans at Hanging Rock, Bill Smyth and Mackay Park reserves.”
Click here to download a copy of the Strategy.