Cricket Australia in partnership with the state and territory associations today announced a commitment to invest $35 million over the next three years to significantly grow and support community cricket.
The substantial injection of money is aimed at improving the facilities and cricketing experience for players, coaches and volunteers across the country.
Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Community Cricket, Belinda Clark AO said the investment is an important commitment and supports our vision to create the best participation experiences with a focus on growing junior cricket.
“Last year we conducted our first national audit of community cricket facilities assessing 7,100 ovals, 3,500 practice facilities and 3,000 changerooms,” said Clark.
“The results of this audit suggest that based on population growth and cricket participation trends, 1,400 additional ovals are required nationwide over the next decade to provide communities with appropriate playing facilities.
“An extra 270 community cricket facility projects will be targeted annually over the next three years thanks to the additional funding .”
“With the continued roll out of new and exciting game formats for juniors, the launch of the new Woolworths Cricket Blast Program and record numbers of girls signing up to play cricket, it’s a very exciting time for our game. We look forward to working with cricket community across the country to bring this vision to life.”
Six key areas have been identified for the $35 million funding injection:
- Facilities: An additional $12.75 million into the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund. We will be able to triple the number of community-based facility projects that we fund along with the support of the Australian Government, State and Territory governments, local councils, schools and clubs.\
- Additional resources: 58 new community-facing roles in States and Territories next year to address demand in growth areas and provide more support to the hardworking volunteers who run great clubs and competitions for their communities
- Clubs financially rewarded: A new financial model for Woolworths Cricket Blast that will directly benefit clubs financially and reward them to run the program. A significant percentage of every participant’s registration fee will go back to clubs to support their efforts to provide fun and exciting cricket experiences for young Australians
- Grow ‘all girls’ competitions and teams: As part of the wider Growing Cricket For Girls Fund initiative, with the support of the Commonwealth Bank, continued investment of $800,000 per year directly to clubs and associations to initiate and grow ‘all girls’ competitions and teams
- Community coaching: $500,000 per year to provide FREE community coaching courses reflecting the importance of the role that coaches play in developing great experiences for players. After a successful pilot last season that resulted in double the number of coaches undertaking a community coaching course, this program will be continued in 2018-19; and
- Technology: A re-direction of investment in technology to reduce the administrative burden on club and association volunteers and provide new and efficient ways of working.
“In addition to the commitment outlined above, Australia’s players along with the Australian Cricketers’ Association and CA are working on a further game-changing financial contribution to grassroots cricket. We look forward to working with the ACA and players on this important initiative,” Clark concluded.