Neita focused on revamping Melbourne

Jamaica Star article.

Kingston, Jamaica - Melbourne Cricket Club president, Mark Neita, has expressed that last week's opening of a new training facility at the institution is the first of several initiatives they plan to undertake to help revamp the club.

"Melbourne has for a while been dormant in a number of ways, and one of the new focus of this administration is to change this," Neita said during the unveiling of their new nursery, the Ruddy Williams Centre of Excellence.

"The club has a rich tradition of producing Jamaica and West Indies cricketers, as well as serving the needs of the wider community, and as such we have therefore prepared short-, medium- and long-terms plans, and the nursery is one such venture."

Named in honour of former Jamaica chairman of selectors and long-standing club member Ruddy Williams, the facility boasts clay and concrete net-fitted batting strips.

According to Neita, who was voted into office in January, their next set of activities will be to position the institution as "more than just a cricket club".

"Our club Motto is 'We love Melbourne'. However, we are adding to that, that 'Melbourne is more than cricket'," he highlighted.

"Yes, there is the on-field success of the cricket teams and the players, but there is also a social aspect that we take very seriously.

"For example, through former national women's cricketer, Dorothy Hobson, we have been staging an after-school programme, not only for our cricketers, but for other members of the community.

"We are in the process of installing more computers on the complex to aid in the venture.

"Also, we have renovated our netball and basketball courts, courtesy of Pure Water, and this is providing another outlet for the youths to express themselves.

"There is also a hostel that we are working on for our out-of-town players to stay as we train and compete," he added.

Upcoming Activities

The former Jamaica batsman, who played 45 first-class, four-day and 32 one-day matches, also mentioned upcoming activities that are planned.

These include a 5K Run slated for November, and an improvement of the entrance to the facility to include paved sidewalks, and murals of West Indies and Jamaica players the club has produced.

Neita, who is down to serve a one-year term based on the club's constitution, listed as well the establishment of a water well to facilitate the upkeep of the playing field as a medium to long-term goal.

"We have been quite fortunate to have a number of companies coming on board to support us, and we expect this to continue as we go along," he explained.

First Published In The Jamaica Star.

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 08:52