One of the Forest Lake sports ovals will be transformed into a $90,000 turf cricket pitch by the start of next year.
The new pitch will be delivered in a joint partnership between Brisbane Super Kings and Forest Lake Junior Rugby Union Club.
It will allow competitive cricket matches to be hosted in the suburb and give players the facilities they need to play at higher levels.
The development will also create a new pathway for sport at the precinct, adding to the existing offerings of touch football, ultimate frisbee, and junior rugby union.
The Heathwood-based Super Kings will sublease the oval closest to the Forest Lake Boulevard for the pitch.
“We can officially say this now because we have done the paperwork,” Brisbane Super Kings founder and advisor Sathish Rajendran said.
The club has secured two thirds of the funding, and construction will begin later this year.
“We’ve got to save $90,000, but we’ve got a lot of help coming from Heritage Bank and Queensland Cricket, and a lot of sponsors putting money into it,” he said.
“It’s going to be world-class turf, with construction to start September 25th; we are just waiting for the final council approvals for the water system.
“From there, it’s a big job – the turf takes about four months to get right, so we hope to have it ready in time to host our Australia Day match on it.”
The cricket club currently has its clubhouse and home synthetic pitch at Matthew Conwell oval, Heathwood.
By the time players reach teenage years, there is an expectation that they begin playing on turf wickets, which carries through to senior levels.
Mr Rajendran said if clubs cannot provide this, players tend to go elsewhere, so securing a turf pitch is important.
“We can get so many synthetic pitches, but when kids reach 13 or 14 years old, they need to train on turf pitches because that’s what all the grade and international matches are played on,” he said.
But it comes at a significant cost.
“It takes about $400 a week to maintain them, so many clubs can’t afford a turf pitch because of this,” he said.
The Forest Lake Rugby Union Club committee said the introduction of the cricket pitch is exciting because it adds another sports pathway to keep children playing locally.
“It’s part of our long term plan to have local kids playing local sports and from going outside of the lakes area,” the committee said in a statement.
“We’ve got the rugby union there, the church touch there, the frisbee there, so we’re adding cricket and it’s just a natural progression. It’s all about utilisation and providing facilities for the local community.”