Finally ~ Progress driven by ……. women (gasp!)

An indulgent rant for positive progress.

WBBL Header

So all that it has taken is a little amount of reasonable exposure for Women’s cricket to rapidly shift the staid thinking and lack of planning that has plagued the sport of cricket for decades. Eons in fact. However more amazing has been the contributors and catalysts who deserve extremely high kudos for this development in Sydney.

This week came the amazingly good news from Hurstville City Council of an $11M investment in a development at Penshurst Park.

The News press (Carly Adno @CarlyW226) went with the headline:

Women’s cricket receives massive boost with announcement of $11 million sporting hub

And it should be bold and loud as well. Displayed for all to see. A decision advanced because of the increasing needs for the women’s teams. Brilliant.

This announcement, a tremendous boost for all cricketing groups in the vicinity. For a moment, kindly just pause to reflect and consider as to how this has occurred with remarkable acceleration.

Growing interest in women’s sport. A slow burner for a while, now ignited to a whole new level in cricket because of the WBBL. Tick that box, flying.

A multi million investment by a council! Preposterous. Maximum credit and green elephant stamps to you Mayor Vince Badalati, definite positive action for one newly elected.

If you live in Melbourne, watching an endless procession of state and federal politicians thrust a shovel into the Junction Oval turf denoting some intent to build a cricket facility of substance, all is ok, they are now…..finally. Credit to Mr Andrews, he kept the $25M pledge in place.

The triumph here though belongs to Hurstville City Council. Read the following and weep with the faith that leadership really does exist. Hopefully others will follow, using this as a foundation block to properly value the benefits of sport entwined through the community.

Mayor of Hurstville, Cr Vince Badalati, said he was delighted that this new facility has been given the green light to proceed by council following Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia’s contribution of $400,000 towards the project.

“This partnership between Cricket NSW, Cricket Australia and Hurstville Council will be the first facility in NSW incorporating professional standard indoor and outdoor training facilities, as well as an all-weather synthetic community oval,” he said.

“Hurstville has a long and proud association with one of Australia’s most loved sports and many of Australia’s male and female cricket stars. Moises Henriques, Kurtis Patterson, Rene Farrell and Nicola Carey all commenced their cricket careers in our great city while Josh Hazelwood and Trent Copeland now call the St George District Cricket Club home,” he said.

“On behalf of Hurstville City Council, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia for their generous contributions”, he said.

“The cricket precinct within the Penshurst Park sporting hub is a terrific partnership between Hurstville Council, Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia, and will provide vital cricket facilities and infrastructure to the region,” said Andrew Ingleton, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Game and Market Development.

“I applaud Hurstville City Council and Mayor Badalati for their vision and investment into this precinct, which is a best practice model other councils would do well to follow.

“This precinct will support the continued growth of our game and assist in our vision to be Australia’s favourite sport and a sport for all Australians.”

Cricket NSW Chief Executive Andrew Jones said the development of Penshurst Park sporting hub was a massive boost to the St George region and cricket at all levels.

“For cricket to be Australia’s favourite sport and sport for all Australians, we need to ensure that players and coaches from the grassroots through to the elite level have access to quality facilities all year round.

“The Penshurst Park precinct will stand alone in its innovative design to allow mums and dads, boys and girls to train alongside world class male and female players.

“I would like to commend Hurstville City Council, led by Mayor Badalati, and all those who have contributed to this world class community project,” he said.

The project is expected to be completed in time for the 2017/18 season.”

Expected to be completed in 2017/18. Incredible.

The gauntlet has been thrown down to continue this investment into sporting infrastructure that will serve so many so well. Again to all involved, kudos and bravo for the foresight.

And thanks to the women, for illuminating the minds of possibility.

(Insert emoji for all hands clapping loudly, Mother Cricket is delighted).

About Andrew Walton

Cricket exposure as a player, coach, fan, observer, analyst & tragic! Coached at Melbourne Cricket Club, Prahran Cricket Club. Premiership player and coach at South Yarra Cricket Club ~ Home of The Vincibles! Academy coach at Karnataka Institute of Cricket, Bangalore.
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