New Turf, New Era for Women's Cricket at Junction Oval
Last of the new turf has been laid on St Kilda’s Junction Oval as the local community ground reaches its final stages of redevelopment, turning the family friendly oval into a first-class cricket ground.
The $40 million project, a partnership between the Victorian Government, Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia, will give both male and female, elite and grassroots cricketers, a top-notch ground and training facilities.
The Victorian Cricket Community Centre will be the home for Cricket Victoria’s new headquarters and will feature state-of-the-art medical and rehabilitation facilities.
Junction Oval will host grassroots cricket clubs in St Kilda, as well as Sheffield Shield matches for the Bushrangers and will be the home ground for WBBL matches.
With a major focus on increasing participation in women and indigenous communities, the revamped community centre will host activities all year round giving Victorians an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of playing cricket on a more regular basis.
Victorian Minister for Sport John Eren said:
"Aussies love their cricket, and we're doing everything we can to make sure even more Victorians can enjoy our summer pastime, all-year round."
"We're seeing more young Victorians pick up a bat or ball, especially with women and girls inspired by their Women's Big Bash heroes".
Sonya Thompson, Head of Female Cricket at Cricket Victoria said:
“The new facility will be a shared space for male and female cricket, a first of its kind. This integrated approach will most likely build the profile of women’s cricket and will shift the perception people have that cricket is a male dominated sport.”
Over 327,000 people play cricket in Victoria and the numbers in participation are on the rise.
Cricket Victoria CEO Tony Dodemaide said:
"This milestone is a significant step towards establishing the home of Victorian Cricket and providing year-round access for Victoria's elite male and female cricketers and an accessible venue for local cricket and the local community."
Leg-spinner Kristen Beams is captain for the VicSprit in the Women's National Cricket League and is thrilled to have a "home base":
“We really crave to have a home base, we’ve been moved around a little bit. We’re really looking forward to being here”.
“To see all the underage girls right through to the senior team playing and training in one venue is pretty exciting”.
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