Two-year plan sees Coast playing premier cricket

Officials from the Hibiscus Coast Cricket Club went in to bat for their sport at a recent meeting of the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board.

The club’s business chair Jeff Olufson, who is also a trustee on Metro Park Community Sports Charitable Trust, says it is an exciting time for Coast cricket and the presentation was an opportunity to thank the Board for its support and update board members on the club’s development.

The club has more than 250 members playing regularly in Auckland Cricket Association competitions and has set its sights on becoming one of Auckland’s principal clubs within two years.

“In the interim, we are building the capability of club through a range of player development initiatives, as well as progressing a plan to build clubrooms, proper changing facilities and a pavilion at Metro Park,” Jeff says.

“When we are a principal club, with teams in the premier competition, our players will have a much higher profile.

“They will be able to stick with our club rather than having to move to an Auckland club to progress their cricket. It certainly is our goal to one day have our first Black Cap.”

In addition to the junior superstar programme which provides an introduction to cricket, there are 18 junior and seven senior teams. Fixtures are overseen by more than 50 volunteers, as well as two staff – a club manager and a junior coach.

The Local Board was told that school engagement through introductory cricket sessions had been a major focus.

Last year, seven local schools, involving more than 1500 children, participated and the schools cluster day attracted 26 teams and more than 200 boys and girls.

“Victor Eaves in Ōrewa has been the historical home ground for Coast cricket, but eventually we will move to Metro Park when the infrastructure is in place. It will provide three fields with artificial pitches, two turf wickets and practice nets.”

Last season, the club’s top team played its first season in the premier reserve competition.

“We held our own, even beating premier side Waitakere. We’re looking forward to this summer and knocking off a few more premier clubs.

“There’s a healthy rivalry between our club and clubs on the North Shore, which adds another enjoyable dimension to the competition.”

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