A new $3.5 million indoor cricket centre at Mark Taylor Oval, Waitara was opened recently by Mark Taylor AO for the community to enjoy.

The first of its kind in the region, the indoor centre will be used by men and women’s cricket teams for all weather training and specialist coaching. It also supports use by all abilities programs, providing opportunities for people will disability to participate in sport.

The centre is the second stage of a major upgrade of the oval to improve sports and community facilities. In March 2019, the NSW Government announced a $9 million funding commitment for Council and the Northern District Cricket Club to partner in upgrading sporting facilities at Waitara Park which also includes the reconstruction of the oval playing surface and upgrades to the pavilion.

In addition, Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia contributed $200,000 to the indoor centre and Council contributed funds towards the oval upgrade to increase its capacity for use by the wider community.

“Through the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund, Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia were able to contribute $200,000 to the project and the results are a wonderful indoor facility and that will no doubt inspire more people to play and love cricket. We congratulate all stakeholders on what has been a collaborative effort that will benefit cricket and the local community,” said Lee Germon, CEO, Cricket NSW.

Jeremy Hook, President of the Northern District Cricket Club talked about what the new centre meant to the club.

“The Indoor Centre will be a focal point for the enormous and talented cricket community. Facilities such as this will help us in our goal to develop the next Mark Taylor cricketer from our emerging male and female playing ranks,” said Mr Hook.

Member for Ku-ring-gai, The Hon Alister Henskens said, “I am very happy for the club and our local community. Having such a premier facility closer to home will encourage greater participation of women and girls in sport and open new pathways for local sporting talent in the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai area”.

In December, Hornsby Shire Council reopened the oval having completed a raft of Stage One works including improving the oval playing surface, installation of new irrigation and drainage and the construction of a 3m high lightweight safety netting around part of the northern, eastern and western boundaries.

Stage Three focusses upon upgraded off-field supporting infrastructure to accommodate the needs of women, girls and people with disability by improving the changerooms, access and amenities in the pavilion. Whilst some remaining grant money is available for this stage, additional funding is being sought by the club and Council to ensure the complete project can be fully realised.

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