Stanhope celebrate 100 years with opening of new nets

This weekend Stanhope Cricket Club will celebrate 100 years with the opening of their brand-new training nets.

Stanhope celebrate 100 years with the opening of new nets

This weekend Stanhope Cricket Club will celebrate 100 years with the opening of their brand-new training nets.

Club members and volunteers aged from 5 to 72 have contributed more than 300 hours of labour, working to get their new training nets ready for their celebrations this weekend.

Vice-President Aaron Poole, who led the project said that “The Stanhope Cricket Club are extremely thankful to everyone who helped make this project possible. The provision of safe, new nets helps us to attract and retain our juniors and develop a pathway progressing into Stanhope seniors in Goulburn Murray Cricket.

Through community fundraising and a grant from the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund, the club were able to secure the $34,000 that they needed to abandon their old nets and establish new, pristine training facilities for a fraction of the cost of standard nets in time for their centennial celebrations.

With the abandonment of the old nets “Tough Tuesdays” where batters looking for a challenge would pit themselves against the Stanhope second net and shined up two pieces will be a thing of the past – while the category 5 hill climb up to the bowlers crease in the main net will be missed by no one.

The project was not without it challenges though as like any good cricket team too many captains or none at all, occasional caused some issues. “We dropped plenty catches along the way but none that hurts us as we think the final outcome is brilliant”. Mr Poole went on to say “While cricket is a great leveller – we can vouch that building cricket nets with volunteer labour is just as much so. We would be fly along telling each other how good we all were when before you know it somebody has nudged a steel a post with the tractor and we’d have to pull it out and put it in straight again with the culprit quickly expelled to a notional fine leg on shovel duties. This all made the whole process far more fun to be involved with and really gives the club and town a real sense of ownership and pride in what we’ve achieved.

Stanhope Cricket Club sits in the Midland Highway between Shepparton and Bendigo and has a population of less than 500 people. Many of the locals have acknowledged the club’s fine work and the club feels that they can now boast the best nets in the district.

The Stanhope club has taken a strategic decision that in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of cricket in Stanhope we need to grow our active participation levels.

The decision for the club to relocate the nets closer to the change room was a strategic decision to attract female cricketers, with the facility being closer to the pavilion and change rooms and providing more safe and secure access.

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