Traditionally a small village, housing developments over the last 20 years has led to Miskin rapidly increasing in size. Yet, community facilities have not grown at the same rate. In recent years, places and activities that previously brought the community together have reduced, with events such as the annual fireworks show no longer taking place. As well as limited community venue facilities, there is limited green space for exercise.
Our vision is to build on our existing volunteer-run facility to create a community-led sporting and social hub that transforms access to cricket in the south-east Wales region and provides a flexible community facility for educational, wellbeing and social events.
Maintained by volunteers, the cricket and softball facilities will be available to all ages and abilities, whether disabled or able-bodied. We start from a strong base, with 120 adult playing members (approximately 50/50 m/f) and over 200 junior members (including 80 under-7s), together with their parents who are family members. We also have approximately 30 social and life members. Our membership has grown by 50% since pre-lockdown. We are ambitious to increase access to the game we love, with demand currently exceeding our capacity.
The project – the only one of its kind in Wales - will establish a centre of excellence, providing access to cricket for people of all abilities as well as further volunteering opportunities and educational opportunities such as sports development programmes. We have the enthusiastic backing Cricket Wales for whom we are already a strategic centre. We also have the support of the England and Wales Cricket Board(ECB) and we are optimistic that they will be able to provide an element of match funding for the project.
Specialist facilities required for cricket are often a barrier, meaning that participation in schools for example is limited. Our aim is to promote access regardless of background or financial status, increasing the number of communities who will be able to use the facilities to beyond our current catchment of Pontyclun, Talbot Green, Llantrisant and Llanharan into areas including Beddau, Tynant and Tonyrefail where we know there is demand.
People who regularly participate in sport are 15% more likely to have good long-term health than those who do not. Our project will support this by helping young people in particular, to develop ‘good habits’ in respect of health and exercise.
This investment will provide a community facility which local people can be proud of. Beyond the cricket club, it will provide enhanced opportunities for community activities both within the pavilion and on the playing fields, with local community and fitness groups have already expressed an interest in using.