Two decades ago, Sunshine Heights Cricket Club was in the doldrums, membership numbers were down and an “old boys” mentality prevailed.
To resurrect the 1954-established club, the committee decided things had to change and they started with a young members drive.
Club president Paul Stockwell said they turned to recruiting Sunshine’s newest residents – players of all ages with family backgrounds in the likes of Sudan, Sri Lanka and India, with the club making a real effort to support the players’ involvement in the sport.
“Rather than them having to go out and buy bats, match jerseys and all that stuff, we provide it for them,” Mr Stockwell said. “It takes away that financial barrier a lot of kids have.”
The club’s long-term approach has paid dividends, with membership numbers swelling to more than 200 and more than half of all members these days being kids.
“The difference now is the club is more open and inviting to people of all types of backgrounds,” Mr Stockwell said.
“In the old days, there was more of a focus around alcohol, drinking and gambling … we’ve gone right away from that. It’s now really open to families and children.”
The club plays out of Ainsworth Reserve, Vernon Crescent, Sunshine West.
For details or to join, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0416 101 637.