Volunteers save club $180,000

Volunteers save club $180,000

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Roleystone Karragullen Cricket Club players Jack Warnes, Matt Bendall, president John Lewis and Ben Winchcombe. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

A project to build new cricket nets at a local club, which was estimated to cost $250,000, was completed for much less thanks to the contributions of club players, local businesses and community members.

Discussions to build the new nets at Roleystone Karragullen Cricket Club started back in 2011 but didn’t really get anywhere until five years later when the club entered into a joint agreement with the City of Armadale and club sponsor QTM.

Club President John Lewis said the build, which was completed in several stages over the last two summers, ended up costing only $70,000 thanks to efforts of volunteers who donated their own time, labour and materials.

“Whilst a core of 10 or so volunteers turned out to help Matt Bendall from QTM on a regular basis, a spread of between 50 and 60 junior and senior players and supporters helped at various stages of the journey,” he said.

The lengthy build involved relaying and redirecting the storm water systems, moving 171 tonnes of limestone blocks into place, tidying up the nearby car park, curbing and preparing the footings for the pad and poles.

The concrete pad was sourced by the city before the poles were installed, then the mesh walls and roof was tensioned and turf put in place.

Mr Lewis said the installation of what the club dubbed the great wall of Roleystone took the majority of the first summer as the group managed to lay on average about 30 blocks weighing 200 kilograms each per busy bee.

“The build was a monumental effort for the group of volunteers that turned up time and time again,” he said.

Mr Lewis said the installation of the new facilities allowed the club to hold training sessions where the men, women and juniors could participate and play together.

“The Roleystone Karragullen Cricket Club is the only club in the City of Armadale with a first grade side in the Swan and Helena Districts Cricket Association, fast growing junior numbers and dedicated all girls junior and senior teams, yet the club was struggling with aged and dilapidated training facilities and not enough of them to cater for the numbers,” he said.

“Where other clubs in the city had up to eight new or newish nets we were battling away with four that had been near run into the ground.”

Mayor Henry Zelones said the city only ever intended to renew the existing cricket nets when due, but when the club requested an expansion, the city agreed to contribute $70,000 to the project.