Prior to the 2018-19 season, PNCC relocated their practice nets to the southern end of the Port Noarlunga Oval, with the existing 1970s nets no longer safe and proving geographically impractical.
Driven by the club’s resourceful volunteers, PNCC were able to access funding from multiple sources to build their new $130,000 state-of-the-art net facility.
SACA and Cricket Australia contributed $10,000 to the project, the City of Onkaparinga funded $46,614, the Office of Sport, Recreation and Racing provided $60,000 and the Federal Government Stronger Communities Grant gave $13,667.
Built to Cricket Australia standards, the facility is three pitches wide with a hard mesh outer, soft net roof and two retractable internal soft nets which can be extended for bowling and batting practice or retracted into the locked pillars for fielding use.
The flooring is UV protected matting, with power available in the floor to ensure the bowling machine can be utilised without dangerous extension leads or noisy generators.
PNCC Secretary Cath Kennedy believes the new nets have helped to reinvigorate the club.
“The nets have brought a sense of focus for our club,” Kennedy said.
“We are building a family-centred club from the bottom-up by concentrating on junior development, junior-senior transition and senior success.
“The PNCC prides itself in our ability to not only teach young people to play cricket but retain them into senior grades in an inclusive environment. We continue to strive to be connected, resilient, healthy and inspiring, which should result in a strong club and therefore, consistent participation.”
Aside from being an asset to the club, the nets are accessible to the public and have become an asset to the wider community, while the construction process also drew public interest.
“The construction process of the nets has been a visible and talking point in our community,” Kennedy said.
“The state-of-the-art nets set us apart from other cricket clubs in our area. New families have said we are meeting the needs of the community by establishing ourselves as a community sports hub.”
SACA State Infrastructure Manager Alicia Clutterham encourages clubs to make use of the funding as best they can.
“We want clubs to be as proactive as possible in seeking funding and we are always here to help cricket volunteers with what can sometime be a lengthy process,” Clutterham said.
“I also encourage clubs to pick up the phone and contact their Local Council to see what funding may be available to complement ACIF funding, just as Port Noarlunga have done with great success.”
Click to find out more about the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund and how your club may be able to access funding through the ACIF or State Government programs.
ACIF applications close at midnight on Monday 18 March.