The Victorian Cricket and Community Centre is a step closer to reality today after the Federal Government's $10 million investment into the dedicated sporting and educational complex at the Junction Oval in St Kilda.
The purpose built facility will consolidate Cricket Victoria’s administration, development and training functions into a single location, as well as providing a boutique-sized alternate first-class venue for the Commonwealth Bank Bushrangers and VicSpirit.
Importantly, regional Victorians will also be major beneficiaries.
With cricket being a sport of choice for regional Victorians, the facility will provide cricketers, administrators, volunteers and coaches from across the state with access to first-class services, training programs and experiences on an all-year round basis.
The Victorian Cricket and Community Centre will also house the National Centre for Diversity through Cricket, which has been designed to promote social inclusion and harmony in the community through cricket.
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Federal Minister for Regional Australia, the Hon. Catherine King, MP, joined Cricket Victoria Chairman, Geoff Tamblyn, and CEO, Tony Dodemaide, for the announcement at the Junction Oval this morning, alongside the Hon. Michael Danby, MP, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, AFL Operations Manager Mark Evans and Victorian captains Cameron White and Emma Inglis.
The Federal Government’s budget commitment as part of Regional Development Australia Fund is in addition to the $10 million already committed to the project by Cricket Victoria ($6 million) and Cricket Australia ($4 million).
Highlights of the Victorian Cricket and Community Centre include:
• A boutique-sized alternate first-class venue with a capacity of up to 7000;
• A National Centre for Diversity through Cricket incorporating the ‘Harmony in Cricket’ community hub;
• On-site self-contained accommodation for visiting regional teams, coaches, administrators, officials and volunteers;
• High quality training, medical and rehabilitation facilities;
• An administrative home for Cricket Victoria’s various activities;
• A home for the Sport Education and Development Australia Cricket Program;
• Improved oval irrigation and drainage;
• An extensive turf training area;
• A 10-lane indoor training centre; and
• Improved facilities for community cricket, including the St Kilda Cricket Club.
Mr Dodemaide said the state-of-the-art facility would provide enormous benefit to a variety of stakeholders including cricketers from regional Victoria, as well as Indigenous, deaf, blind and disabled participants and the state’s elite teams including the Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars.
The facility is also expected to be used as a training venue for the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup 2015.
“The Victorian Cricket and Community Centre is a strategic investment in our long-term future and will provide the sport with its first dedicated training and development facility,” Mr Dodemaide said.
“The benefit to the wider community, including regional Victoria, will be pronounced and will ensure that the development of players within the state is fast-tracked.
“The location of the facility provides the opportunity to conduct various regional and community cricket carnivals, with access to the multiple ovals within the Albert Park precinct ensuring that Cricket Victoria is able to frequently host programs, training and events aimed at the sport’s regional participants.
“On behalf of Cricket Victoria, I would like to thank the Federal Government for its investment in Victorian cricket and the broader community.”
Mr Sutherland also thanked the Federal Government for its support.
“The Victorian Cricket and Community Centre is a fantastic project that will benefit not just Victoria but Australian Cricket as well,” Mr Sutherland said.
“A key element of the project is a National Centre for Diversity through Cricket, which will see one of the heritage grandstands transformed into a community hub to provide facilities and programs for new Australians.
“Cricket looks forward to continuing to work with the Federal Government, the Victorian Government, the City of Port Phillip and cricket’s stakeholders in seeing this project to a successful conclusion.”