Saturday, April 13, 2024

Cricket NSW: Cricket Central Stage 2 Underway

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Photo Credit: Cricket NSW

The next stage in the development of the home of cricket in NSW, Cricket Central, commenced today with the turning of the first sod for the construction of a Community Oval.

The facility is home to international super stars Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Alyssa Healy as well as the NSW Blues, NSW Breakers, Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers.

Stage 2 will include a comprehensive suite of facilities aimed at boosting community engagement and sports education, including the construction of a Community Oval, CLCC, a berm on the eastern side of the main oval, and the installation of lighting for the main oval and outdoor practice nets.

Once completed, it will provide a home for all levels of cricket in NSW, enabling community cricketers to play and train beside their heroes.

Cricket NSW CEO, Lee Germon, alongside the Minister for Sport. Lord Mayor of Parramatta and representatives the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) and construction partners, celebrated the commencement of construction.

Germon emphasised Cricket NSW’s purpose is to inspire everyone to play and love cricket, adding that Stage 2 was an integral part of that.

“Stage 2 of Cricket Central is a testament to our dedication to fostering an inclusive community spirit and promoting cricket at every level. We are setting a benchmark for sports facilities nationwide, not just for elite training but as a hub for community engagement and development.”

Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said:

“Cricket Central is playing a key role in ensuring NSW continues to produce the best cricketers in the world.

“The NSW Government’s $36.4 million investment in Cricket Central is providing cricketers, coaches and administrators at all levels of the sport, with the best facility in the world to play, train and learn.

“The turning of the first sod on Stage 2 is an exciting milestone in Cricket NSW’s journey to provide a facility that bridges the gap between elite and community cricket and brings them together in a shard love of cricket.”

Cricket Central Stage 2 has been jointly funded by Cricket NSW and the NSW Government.

Cricket Central is the headquarters for Cricket NSW’s 150 coaching and administrative staff. It features an ICC-compliant oval, 15 indoor nets, 43 outdoor cricket lanes, a gym, function facilities and medical rooms.

It also features dedicated multi-purpose community facilities that are used by more than 35,000 club and community cricketers annually.

Community Oval

Cricket NSW seeks to provide an appealing active recreational space for local cricket and community members. The Community Oval will enable the use of portable pitches and provide Cricket NSW, local cricket clubs & associations, and schools with access to this space for running programs including Woolworths Cricket Blast, Girls Only Cricket, Blind Blast, Fan Days, the Office of Sport’s Dads & Daughters Active & Education Programs as well as Cricket NSW initiatives such as the HomeWorld International Women’s Day Islamic School activation via The Welcome Project. There will be a synthetic pitch in the middle of the Oval.

Additionally, the oval will enable the running of multi-sport and recreation school holiday camps to service demand from local community and workers in the Sydney Olympic Park precinct. The enhancement of green space at Cricket Central will provide the local community with a safe, inclusive, and walkable mixed-use area that can bring people together, enhance well-being and liveability and encourage healthy active lives through sport and physical activity.

Cricket Learning & Community Centre

The Cricket Learning & Community Centre (CLCC) will provide significant value to community users, education partners and cricket participants (including players, umpires and match operations). With multi-functional spaces and change rooms, the CLCC will be able to operate independently of the main Cricket Central building, enabling the delivery of matches, curriculum / further education courses by university partners, club and association meetings and events, coach, scoring and umpire courses, training and education programs, local business forums as well as community meetings.

Importantly, this facility will provide discreet and dedicated meeting spaces that will provide community stakeholders with an attractive space to convene without impacting the core operations being delivered from the main Cricket Central building. The CLCC is an essential space for conducting best-practice and holistic support sessions for cricketers throughout NSW to help develop their knowledge and skillset in aspects such as mental health awareness, road awareness, integrity, gambling awareness, social media awareness, financial education, emotional intelligence, growth mindset, time management and goal setting.

Eastern Berm

An elevated hill located on the eastern side of the main oval to facilitate extra capacity and an enjoyable fan experience for matches on the main oval.

Main Oval Lighting

Australian Standard 2560.2 Class I level lighting, to the International Cricket Council (ICC) compliant cricket oval at 1800 lux, will be installed to the main oval. Australian Standard 2560.2 Class I level lighting will be installed to the outdoor turf practice nets on the northern boundary of the precinct at 1000 lux. Cricket is an evolving sport and has dynamically responded to the desires of consumers and participants. This is acutely reflected in the rise of T20 cricket, and the emergence of ‘day-night’ Test matches.

The provision of facilities to accommodate cricket’s expanding suite of competitions, training and program offerings is crucial for the sport to provide flexible sport/leisure opportunities and maintain its appeal within the community. Floodlighting of sports fields and supporting training facilities provides a central solution to increase programming beyond standard daylight hours, and ensure players are primed for the challenges they may face in key performance situations.

Additionally, lighting unlocks new opportunities for cricket stakeholders, enhancing accessibility to Cricket Central. Blind Cricket squads highlighted the value of lighting, as they do not currently have access to turf training wickets in Greater Sydney and will struggle to access turf facilities without this lighting provision. Similarly, Premier Cricket and Academy Pathway players outlined the necessity to improve their skills under lights, and within an elite-level setting.

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