CRICKET Tasmania will find out next month if it has been successful in securing state government funding for a proposed $1.1 million upgrade of the NTCA Ground change rooms, designed to cope with increased women’s participation.
Cricket Australia this week provided $50,000 to the project, which is being considered under the government’s $10 million Levelling the Playing Field grants program.
The project involves converting the four large change rooms under the Boon Stand into female-friendly facilities, including two new female-dedicated change rooms.
Cricket Tasmania northern administrator David Fry said the current change rooms are out-of-date and make co-ordinating men’s and women’s sport difficult.
“It just about makes it impossible when you’ve got female cricket being played generally straight after male cricket,” he said.
“The facilities just aren’t suitable. There’s open showers and urinals in the toilets, which obviously isn’t any good in encouraging females to be playing sport.
“With an emphasis on women’s sport now, there’s a fairly significant need to make sure the change rooms and facilities are suitable.”
Mr Fry said the upgrade would largely be internal.
“It will be pushing out a little at the back but you won’t notice much difference. It’s mostly reconfiguration and better use of the space inside,” he said.
“We’ve got some very small change rooms up the other end which are new, but they’re just far too small for a cricket team with all their kits. It’s OK for juniors, but just not big enough for the women to use.”
Thousands of people use the NTCA Ground each week, a figure that has grown significantly in recent years as women’s participation in cricket and AFL increases.
The upgrade is part of a broader master plan for the NTCA Ground, which first hosted cricket in the 1840s.
The next priority will be upgrading the playing surface on the main oval to cope with increased use from a variety of sports, estimated to be about $1 million.
Establishing new board rooms separate from the club rooms and building an indoor cricket centre are longer term goals.