Two new wickets are ready for local junior cricketers to showcase their skills when they return from the Christmas break next weekend.
Ipswich City Council, Queensland Cricket and Strollers Cricket Club have combined efforts to install two new synthetic pitches at Springfield Central Sports Complex and the new Spring Mountain Silver Jubilee Sports Ground.
The two locations were chosen based on the demand in the area and the locations have complimenting infrastructure in terms of lights, irrigation and toilet facilities.
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the new wickets will be a community asset for years to come.
“The new pitches are a great asset for the cricket community. With the recent Test series against Pakistan just being completed I am sure our next generation of cricketers will be keen to get out on the pitch and show they could be the next David Warner,” Mayor Harding said.
“Ipswich has a proud sporting tradition with several Australian champions starting their playing days on fields around the city. Council is proud to play its part in promoting a healthy lifestyle for residents and potentially aiding the career of our next local sports star.”
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson and Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said council went to market and brought in specialists to install the new pitches at a cost of around $39,000.
“Queensland Cricket via the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund provided more than $20,000 combined funding to Ipswich City Council and Strollers Cricket Club towards the delivery of the projects with council adding an additional $18,814,” Cr Tully said.
“Ipswich is the fastest growing city in Queensland and as we continue to grow, we need to keep pace with infrastructure to provide a great lifestyle for our residents. There was demand identified and we were more than happy to become involved in the project.”
Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said the new Silver Jubilee complex was a great addition to Ipswich eastern suburbs and was popular with residents.
“The majority of the park promotes social interaction and problem solving and encourages motor skills development, creativity, and imagination,” Cr Jonic said.
“Encouraging local people of all ages to take up exercise through sport is a key aim for the council so I’m delighted to see these new pitches installed in a growing area of the city and catering for families in the area.”
A spokesperson for Queensland Cricket said quality cricket infrastructure is fundamental in ensuring we can provide opportunities for communities to play cricket across Queensland, particularly rapidly growing and diverse communities, such as Springfield.
“Queensland Cricket is proud to support the development of Cricket in Ipswich, in partnership with local clubs & Ipswich City Council via investment from the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund,” he said.
Strollers Cricket Club Junior Cricket Coordinator Jono Gibbs thanked the Ipswich City Council, Queensland Cricket, and the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund for the new facilities.
“The eastern suburbs of Ipswich have been crying out for this infrastructure because of the tremendous population growth,” Mr Gibbs said. “There is huge potential for the area to be a nursery for Ipswich Cricketers.
“These pitches will help Cricket Ipswich provide venues for the increasingly popular Friday Night Cricket which is the entry level for junior cricket as well as a further venue for the higher levels of junior cricket,” he said.
“We would also like to acknowledge the help of council in helping us with this project and their continuing support for cricket in the area.”