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Epping Cricket Club hits it for 6
Epping Cricket Club hits it for 6
An annual initiative of Peppercorn Hill Estate’s developer, Dennis Family Corporation, 2023 marks the second year the Peppercorn Hill Community Fund has been up and running. In mid-October, 16 happy community and not-for-profit groups from in and around Donnybrook, Woodstock, Wollert, and Craigieburn received grants totalling $24,000.
One such organisation that was successful in applying for a grant this time round was the Epping Cricket Club.
Founded in 1877 by a dedicated group of cricket-loving locals, it numbers amongst the oldest cricket clubs in Victoria, having provided the Epping community with an opportunity to play grassroots cricket for nearly 150 years!
Catering for players of every age and ability, from beginners all the way through to those moulding successful higher level cricketing careers, it currently fields four senior men’s teams, one senior women’s team and seven junior teams. And if that isn't enough, it also runs the local Woolworths’ Master Blaster program involving over 30 children ranging in age from 5 to 10 years old.
We recently caught up with Epping Cricket Club President, 27-year-old Jaedyn Kearney, to find out a little more about the Club.
Tells us a little bit about you and how you came to be involved with Epping Cricket Club?
“Although I’m only 27, I’ve actually been a member of the Epping Cricket Club for over 21 years! I started playing here when I was around 5 or 6 years old in the Under 12’s team and literally haven’t looked back since – I currently play for the Club in both the local first and second grade level competitions.
“Having spent so much of my life in and around Epping Cricket Club, it’s been great to be a member of the Club’s Committee and help it continue to grow. I joined the Committee just over 10 years ago and was elected into the President’s role in 2021 after 2 years as Vice President so my journey on the executive committee has been short compared to some other long-term reigns but it has been rewarding thus far. I’m pretty sure I am the youngest President in the Club’s history!
“I think it is something of an understatement to say that my off field my role is fairly wide-ranging! It entails everything from recruiting players and coordinating player payments to overseeing the senior, junior and women’s programs. Plus I really enjoy coordinating all the functions for the senior’s program as organising fun for my mates has always been something of been a personal passion!”
What are the most rewarding things about being involved in the Club?
“There are so many great things about being involved with the Club, but undoubtedly one of the most rewarding has been the incredible relationships I’ve been lucky enough to form with so many other players, coaching staff and supporters who are the Club’s mainstay. Some of my closest – and oldest, friendships began at the Epping Cricket Club. In fact I’m about to be the best-man at the wedding of one of my team mates later this year! I also love hearing from members about how much they value the Club and see themselves as being part of one big happy family.”
What are the biggest challenges facing the Club?
“One of the biggest challenges at the moment is reinvigorating interest and commitment to local cricket post the pandemic. It’s been something of a rollercoaster ride over the past few years to continue building the Club around a sport which I think is experiencing declining interest amongst older 18+ audiences. But we’re ready for the challenge, as we believe the program we run is one of the best in the competition.”
What’s your vision for the Club’s women’s cricket program?
“There’s no doubt that the profile and popularity Women’s Cricket has really taken off in the last few years, helped a lot by the success of the Australian’s Women’s team internationally.
“At the local level, we’re very focused on continuing to build our female membership and encouraging more women to play with the Club. We’re now working closely with the Epping Football Netball Club, who are about to offer Women’s Australian Rules Football, which will enable us to grow together and also hopefully allow us to field three women’s senior cricket sides and a junior girl’s cricket team down the track. If we can continue to develop our on-field skills and win matches, this will also encourage others to join, so we really want to bring in the best coaches we can to help improve our on-field game.
“More generally, having more women involved with the Club has been incredible, and they’ve really injected new life into the Club. They’ve always been a great support to the men’s teams and helping to run Club functions. Several have now joined Committee, and I wouldn’t be surprised if our second female Club President emerges from this current core group.”
If you were granted one wish for the Club, what would it be?
“Well, the obvious answer would be to plant a nice little money tree next to the Clubrooms! However, the best thing for any club – and when it’s the most fun, is when everyone is having some success. So my one wish right now is for our Barclay Shield/Pingettes to win the 2023/2024 premiership season!”
How can people become involved, support the Club, join a team, become a coach etc?
“We are always delighted to welcome new members to the Club. Raman Sharma is our junior coordinator for players aged 10 – 18 years; Kyle Lamprey runs our Woolworths Blasters Program for children under 10; and I’m the contact anyone interested in playing for our men’s or new senior women’s teams. We’re also always on the lookout for coaches. So again, just enquire with one of us and we’ll point you in the right direction. All of our details can be found on the Club’s Facebook page, website or the PlayHQ website.
“Plus, we offer excellent sponsorship opportunities for anyone keen to support the Club off-field and help us grow our community partnerships moving forward.”
For more details about the Peppercorn Hill Community Fund, visit the Peppercorn Hill website at www.peppercornhill.com.au.