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Wairarapa cricket on the rise

Sam Rossiter-Stead reports on significantly improved WCA financial performance. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The Wairarapa Cricket Association is back in the black, recording a surplus after heavy losses over the past five years.
Addressing Tuesday evening’s annual general meeting, WCA chairman Sam Rossiter-Stead reported growth across the board, including playing numbers, representative teams, players selected for higher honours, volunteer numbers and grant funding.
He said the 2015-16 season had been a “highly successful” year for cricket in Wairarapa, thanks to the hard work of players, coaches, officials, administrators and the army of 130 volunteers who give their time freely to the support the game they love.
Rossiter-Stead paid a special tribute to the work of the association’s operations and development manager, Simon Roseingrave. “We are extremely fortunate to have someone of that calibre, he puts his heart and soul into everything he does.”
On the playing front, Rossiter-Stead welcomed the success of the senior representative team who achieved some pleasing results under coach Neil Perry and manager Laurie Curtis. And other rep sides secured more wins between them than anyone could remember with five players going on to play for Central Districts at various levels.
Trust House remained the WCA’s major funder and without their unstinting support over many years, opportunities to play cricket in this region would be significantly reduced.
In 2012 the Prime Community Trust came on board to assist with junior rep team expenses and the association’s total grant funding increased to around $20,000 a year. However, this past year had been a real game-changer in terms of the financial model and the WCA had secured $63,000 in grants from multiple sources, including Trust House, Prime, Pelorus, the New Zealand Racing Board, Eastern & Central Community Trust and Kiwi Sport.
“It’s just three months into our current financial year and we have already set another new record figure of $78,000, with First Sovereign joining us as a major partner,” Rossiter-Stead said, adding that some of this funding would be used to employ a new part-time female development officer to assist with the excellent work that’s going on in that area.
“At this month’s district forum in Christchurch, our work in girls and women’s cricket was highlighted as an example of best practice for the rest of the country to follow. This season we will field a senior women’s team for the first time in more than a decade and the number of girls playing the game now stands at 230 — an increase of nearly 100 on the previous year.
“Secondary Schools’ cricket remains a key focus for us and we have had an extremely productive 12 months working in this area. All of our schools and clubs are doing an excellent job in keeping cricket flourishing in an era when many young people have other distractions. Our development programme has reached more than 2350 young players this year, which is quite phenomenal.”
Rossiter-Stead said the new wicket block at Queen Elizabeth Park had settled in well and he said the WCA was in discussions with Central Districts about bringing their A team to Masterton for a fixture next season, which was an exciting development.
The grandstand renovation project team is being led by Kirsty McCarthy from Masterton District Council along with Dave Borman and they were putting together an application to the Lottery Grants Board to fund the earthquake strengthening required to bring that amenity up to the required standards.

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