By Jackson Russell
Greenhill Reserve’s cricket nets are set to be upgraded after the State Government announced the project had received $100,000 through the Community Cricket Program – Community Facilities stream.
The funding received by Mitchell Shire Council comes in addition to a $313,000 allocation in its annual budget and an additional $50,000 grant from Cricket Australia.
The project will see the development of a five-lane compliant synthetic cricket net facility, including one freely accessible public lane for year-round use and retractable internal netting to support multi-use.
Member for Yan Yean and Parliamentary secretary for sport Danielle Green and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced the project, which is one of 15 across the state to share in $1.4 million from the fund, on Friday.
The upgrades will create greater capacity for training for the Wallan District Cricket Club’s junior and senior teams.
President Sam Mahony said the existing facilities had been in use since 1995 and were in dire need of an upgrade.
“It gives the club a great opportunity given the uncertainty with COVID-19 to take cricket to the next level in the region,” he said.
“You can’t attract new players to the club with sub-standard facilities and it was starting to border on sub-standard given how old it was.
“It makes for a better for experience for all our players and gives them more time to work on their individual skills with more batting and bowling time in the nets rather than standing around waiting.”
Mahony said the upgrades would also help grow the club’s junior girls program.
“We initially started with seven and based on numbers this year, we’ll get up to 22 and the more the merrier,” he said.
Ms Green said the funding would help attract new players to the club.
“This funding will inspire even more boys, girls, men and women across southern Mitchell Shire to sign up for the mighty Wallan Magpies and enjoy the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle,” she said.