The future of cricket in Ballarat looks strong following a new partnership between the City of Ballarat and the Ballarat Cricket Association (BCA) over the next five years to promote junior development, player pathways, cricket for people with disabilities and women’s cricket.
The City of Ballarat has been working closely with the BCA over the past eight months to achieve this breakthrough partnership, which was ratified by City of Ballarat Councillors this week.
One of the key objectives of this new agreement is to resolve long standing inequities between clubs because of differing arrangements for the preparation of turf wickets.
Whilst the City of Ballarat has historically undertaken the task of preparing turf wickets for some clubs – at Council’s cost – some clubs have been responsible for preparing their own wickets at their own cost. Under the new arrangements all member clubs will prepare the turf pitches subject to an approved process and separate agreement.
The total estimated forecast saving for the City of Ballarat as a result of this change to the pitch preparation program is $171,500. These savings are part of the overall consideration to approve a five-year strategic partnership between the BCA and the City of Ballarat.
The BCA represents more than 1,730 players and has been in existence for more than 155 years. It is one of the strongest and most sustainable sporting programs in Ballarat. The new partnership with the City of Ballarat, valued at $100,000 per year, will commence this financial year.
The partnership is a ‘win win’ for both organisations and may be a forerunner for future partnerships between sporting bodies and Council in the future.
The BCA will continue to be responsible for the maintenance of hard wickets across the municipality which is part of an historic agreement.
The City of Ballarat will continue to be responsible for preparation and maintenance of the regional cricket hub facility turf wickets at Eastern Oval. This is the host venue for national level cricket (WBBL), regional championships and BCA finals matches.