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Cosgrove: Mana Indoor Cricket Centre Speech

11 March 2008 Speech

Clayton Cosgrove speech to open the Wellington School of Cricket’s Mana Indoor Cricket Centre

Venue: Ngati Toa Domain, Paremata
Time: 1.30pm, Tuesday 11 March 2008

Your Worship the Mayor of Porirua, Jenny Brash; Porirua City Councillors; the President of New Zealand Cricket Don Neely; and Cricket Wellington President Bruce Murray and Cricket Wellington Chief Executive Officer, Gavin Larsen; Mana Cricket Club Past President Deane Searancke and Club members; two of our BLACKCAPS, James Franklin and Iain O’Brien; members of both Wellington’s men’s and women’s premier teams, the Wellington Firebirds and the Wellington Blaze; friends and supporters of Wellington Cricket; ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you for inviting me here today. I am delighted to have the opportunity to be part of the official opening of the Wellington School of Cricket’s Mana Indoor Cricket Centre. My Ministerial colleague, and the MP for Mana, Winnie Laban, also wanted to be here today, but asked that I pass on her sincere congratulations for this fantastic milestone you have achieved.

Cricket is a favourite summer sport for the majority of New Zealanders, whether it’s watching the BLACKCAPS or playing for a club. I think it is fair to say Wellingtonians are mad about cricket. The statistics show that cricket is a major sport in this region. There are 21 clubs in the Wellington region, based in Wellington, the Hutt Valley and Porirua. Within these clubs there are approximately 1,600 senior players and 3,500 junior players.

Despite the fact that New Zealand is a small country we have punched above our weight playing cricket successfully at a world class level. However, we would not be able to produce top international players if it were not for the large base of enthusiastic junior players - who are plentiful in the Wellington region - and for great facilities such as this, which assist in the training, coaching and developing of our players.

The Wellington School of Cricket has had until now three indoor training facilities in the region; two based in town and one in the Hutt Valley. This fourth facility at Mana will provide an easily accessible base for cricket coaching and training programmes for the people of Wellington’s northern suburbs. No longer will you have to make the trek into the central city, as you now have a great facility right at your doorstep.

This purpose built facility will service individuals, teams, and groups of any age and skill level, from beginners right through to international players.

Cricket Wellington will use this resource to offer private coaching, specialised clinics, net hire and tailored holiday programmes. It will be a tremendous asset for cricket in the region, and for the local community generally such as schools and sporting clubs who will be able to use it for indoor training.

We need to remember that while this facility is a wonderful asset - to make it work it needs a group of talented and dedicated staff to get the best out of it, and we need to acknowledge the excellent work Cricket Wellington has undertaken in recent years to build a strong team of expert coaches to up skill young people.

It has taken a great deal of work and energy by a number of people to complete this project. I would like to thank the Mana Cricket Club and one of its greatest supporters, Mr Noel Hellyer, for their vision and energy, the Porirua City Council for its support, and the staff at Cricket Wellington who steered the project through to completion. I would also like to make special mention of all the mums and dads and other volunteers who have helped make this project possible, and who help keep grassroots sport thriving in our communities.

It has been a great effort and it will benefit many generations to come.

It gives me great pleasure to be part of this official opening of the Mana Indoor Cricket Centre today. Thank you.


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