Photo Credit: South Australian Cricket Association
The South Australian Cricket Association is excited to announce the next four schools that will receive a grant as part of their new ‘Places to Play’ funding program, with Hampstead Primary, Heathfield High, Seaview Downs Primary Schools and Faith Lutheran College all receiving funding. This follows the Forbes Primary School receiving funding earlier this year.
As part of the program, the schools will receive up to $20,000 for new cricket pitches on their ovals, which will allow community cricket clubs to partner with the schools and use their ovals for their junior matches.
With limited open space available for additional cricket grounds and many existing grounds operating at full capacity, accessing and retention of current cricket facilities, including community and school facilities, has become critically important.
SACA completed an audit of all 705 cricket facilities throughout South Australia and found that many school ovals were underutilised while at the same time, some cricket clubs were turning away players as there aren’t enough ovals to play junior cricket.
SACA and Cricket Australia then invested $180,000 in 2022/23 into upgrading nine synthetic cricket pitches, including one at Hampstead Primary School. SACA committed an additional $600,000 in 2023/24 to this program.
Shane Bernhardt, SACA’s General Manager Community Cricket said that’s up to 30 additional synthetic cricket pitches upgraded within SA’s schools and underutilised Council open spaces.
“This program will go a long way to supporting the development of community cricket facilities that contribute to the delivery of Australian cricket’s strategic priorities like supporting the attraction and retention of 5-12 year old participants,” Mr Bernhardt said.
“This is a great example of schools who are the heart of our communities working with nearby sporting clubs and communities to facilitate a much-needed place to play.
“We look forward to supporting similar partnerships between cricket clubs, schools and Councils through SACA’s Places to Play grant program.”
One of the first to receive funding to upgrade their pitch, Hampstead Primary School Principal Lee Van Der Hoek said everyone at the school is pleased and greatly appreciative of the grant.
“This is a fantastic opportunity and will create many meaningful opportunities and experiences for our students to develop their passion and skills,” Mr Van Der Hoek said.
“It will provide memories and experiences for our students to use a high-quality cricket pitch that they may not receive otherwise.
“To further be able to welcome and share this with a local cricket team outside of school hours and develop stronger bonds with our school community is an invaluable experience that we are looking forward to.”
After receiving this grant, Heathfield High School will now partner with Stirling and Mt Lofty Cricket Clubs to give them additional places to play during their summer seasons.
“Heathfield High School is extremely fortunate to be receiving a grant from SACA to transform our current unusable facility to one that will benefit our wider school community,” Katie Hart, Heathfield High School’s Responsible Living Coordinator said.
“Our own students as well as local junior and senior cricket clubs will now have the opportunity to train and play on what will be a fantastic facility in the heart of the Adelaide Hills.”
Adelaide Strikers, West End Redbacks and SA Scorpions players will be visiting some of the successful schools this week to present their funding cheque and run cricket clinics with the students.