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Push for indoor cricket facility

A much-needed indoor training facility for Wairarapa’s cricketers could become a reality if a proposal to develop unused land at Queen Elizabeth Park is given the green light.

Wairarapa Cricket general manager Simon Roseingrave gave a presentation to the Masterton District Council meeting on Wednesday, March 29, on using the old Park Tennis Club courts and disused building to build an administration centre as well as a training facility, which could also be used by other sporting codes.

“It is something we are very passionate about at Wairarapa Cricket, and we feel that we are one of these homeless organisations more than anything,” Roseingrave told the council.

“We have a fantastic facility at Queen Elizabeth Park with the grandstand, but we have offices where we seem to jump from pillar to post, and we don’t have the central points that the likes of rugby, netball, and hockey have.”

Roseingrave highlighted the growing numbers within cricket in the region, with more than 1000 players in each of the past five years, with a diverse range of backgrounds.

“We are one of the leading female participant organisations within cricket within the country, and 38 per cent of our playing population are female, which is fantastic.

“We are also very pleased with our diversity with Maori and Pasifika and are well above the New Zealand average within our game, which is seen as a traditional white man’s sport.

“Twenty-three per cent of our participants identify as Maori and Pasifika, and through that, they have a range of opportunities up to NZ Cricket level.”

Wairarapa Cricket is also the project lead for Kia Hakinakina – a teacher support model providing physical activity opportunities for about 5000 children across Wairarapa.

“As an organisation, we’re very keen to see how we can increase that impact and to see how we can provide more support to our playing community and the wider community,” Rosiengrave said.

“We believe that with the Park tennis facility as it stands, there’s an opportunity to build not only a cricket training facility but a project that has the potential to be used by other sports.

“One thing that is missing for us is the capacity to train in all weather, and we don’t have anywhere where we can function over the winter months.”

Currently, players travel to Wellington or Palmerston North for off-season or indoor training.

He believed a new training facility could also assist in attracting higher-level cricket, such as women’s first-class cricket, back to Masterton.

As for funding, Roseingrave said Wairarapa Cricket is not approaching the council cap in hand and would be looking at fundraising and grants funding to get the project off the ground.

In response, Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell told Roseingrave: “It is an area in the park that has been a bit of an eyesore for a while, and if there’s an opportunity there, I’m sure that we would like to investigate it with you, so what would happen now I would think is that we would look at our facilities team to have a very serious conversation with you guys and go from there.”

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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