On Thursday 16th November, the Boronia Cricket Club officially opened the new training facility at Tormore Reserve. The brand new facility is state of the art and has been said to be the "best in the state of Victoria".
In attendance to help celebrate this special occasion was Knox City Council Mayor John Mortimore, Baird Ward Councillor Peter Lockwood and Federal Member for Ashton Alan Tudge along with all Knox City Council workers involved with the project.
Both Cr Peter Lockwood (Baird Ward) and Federal Member Alan Tudge spoke about their reasoning for supporting such projects from both a council and government point of view.
Club President Matt Smyth spoke about the process the club took to secure support and funding for the project. Matt expressed the club's excitement to finally have such a fantastic facility.
The club thanks Knox City Council and Federal Member Alan Tudge for their support and contribution to this project and ensuring its fast-tracked completion. Bring on a huge summer of cricket!!
Below is BCC President Matt Smyth's speech at the official opening.
It is most exciting to be here today for the official opening of our brand new training facility after many years of hoping and dreaming.
The facility which stood here no more than 9 months ago was built in 1977and remained in its original state with relatively on modifications. As the years progressed and the participation numbers grew, the training nets became increasingly inadequate. Not to mention the increasing safety concerns with the condition of the fencing, run-ups and synthetic surface.
In 2014, the committee decided that it was important that a plan be developed to establish priorities and goals for the Club over the next 5 year period. Our members and other users of the ground were consulted and following an extensive period of review and consultation, a 5 Year Plan was developed to see the redevelopment of our Training Facilities.
We immediately implemented a “Building Fund” to assist our financial position and ability to contribute to the project with the aim to raise $20,000. We achieved this target within the first 2½ years of our 5 year plan. However due to the size of the project, external assistance was going to be needed from both Knox City Council and Federal Government.
After site meetings with Councillor Peter Lockwood and Daniel Clarke, the Knox Council indicated their support of our proposal to upgrade the facility and suggested the Government’s grant programs could also assist.
The club then spoke with Federal Member Alan Tudge, who had previously expressed his support for the redevelopment of our nets many years earlier. Alan once again threw his support behind our submission to the council and also informed us he would allocate $20,000 funding to the project under the Stronger Communities Program. This was crucial to the success of the submission and the proposal designs requested by the club.
In July 2016, the club learnt of the exciting news that our proposal for the redevelopment of our training facility had been approved and that funding had been allocated. This news was welcomed by the club committee and was a reward for the hard work put in over the 3 years leading up to that day.
Now after 3 years of planning and a 6 month build time, we are the proud users of a fantastic state-of-the-art training facility which will allow for greater participation and provides our members with the best environment to improve their game. I am sure we are now the envy of most other cricket clubs.
Boronia Cricket Club thanks Councillor Peter Lockwood, Daniel Clarke and everyone at Knox Council who assisted and supported our proposal and ensured its fast implementation. Daniel has handled all of the clubs wishes and concerns since our initial meeting back in 2015, and I would like to thank him for his patience and assistance. We also thank and appreciate the efforts of Joe Furno and everyone involved in the construction of this fantastic facility.
The club thanks Alan Tudge for his continued support of our club and his commitment to this project through the Stronger Communities Program. Without his involvement, the construction and design of the facility may be a lot different to the completed version we see today. Thankyou Alan.
The Club has been most fortunate to have had a small core of dedicated and hardworking committee members over the past 3 years without which this project would not have been possible. It is largely thanks to the hard work and efficiency of John Blennerhassett in his past role as Vice President that the Club has seen our dreams of a new training facility become a reality. John’s determination to the club and the project was crucial to its success. He has managed the project from a club point of view through every stage and I am sure he is incredibly proud of the facility we see now.
The Club is now in a wonderful position to move forward to another period of success with our training and playing facilities now being the best in the area.