The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club committee has been working tirelessly over the past eighteen months to try bring about a number of key crucial changes and improvements to our facilities at John Connell Reserve – long-overdue upgrades that will play a critical role in the future sustainability and success of the Club.

Together with the Leeming Bowls Club and Leeming Strikers Soccer Club, the Spartans are working tirelessly to implement the many necessary changes at our home ground at John Connell, with specifically an extension to our oval, upgraded change rooms and repositioned nets serving as the key components of this project.

Listed below we intend to outline exactly what we have in store over the coming years at John Connell Reserve and importantly, our reasons for needing these crucial improvements. The project is appropriately titled the “John Connell Reserve Development Project”.

The clubs are based within the City of Melville – the local government authority responsible for managing the John Connell Reserve – and we are desperately trying to work with them to bring forward the issue and raise awareness to the importance of the cause so as to get real action occurring and proper progress made.

Fundamentally, a lot of time and effort has been spent over the past eighteen months in working with our State Government, State candidates, the City of Melville and the three clubs together, all towards getting this project up and running, but frustratingly we are yet to see any commencement of the works. These discussions are continuing and the reasoning behind the fact that works are yet to begin or at least confirmed will be highlighted at another time in the near future. For now though, we want to give all of our followers and the local community the opportunity to understand what is being proposed and why it is so important for everyone in the greater-Leeming area.

Ultimately the project is, and needs to be, considered in its entirety under the name the John Connell Reserve Development Project, given the importance of each component and how each one relies on one another. The project is crucial in that it will ensure the three clubs are sustainable in the future and that everyone has the chance to be part of the great social environment at John Connell Reserve.

The project is at its simplest comprised of four key areas – them being the expansion of the John Connell Reserve by eighteen metres to the east so as to incorporate a second cricket oval, the repositioning and upgrade of our cricket nets, an overhaul and upgrade of our front entrance to provide more parking space and security measures, and finally, the complete revamp of our change rooms to allow for universal access toilets and use for women’s sports.

Local sporting clubs are such an integral component of society. They provide everyone – regardless of ability, background, gender or standing the chance to be part of a great social environment that is inclusive of everyone and brings everyone together under the same cause. It is a well-known fact the positive impact clubs such as ours play on people’s mental and physical health, the way it gives us all something to look forward to each week and gets us out and about in the community.

The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club itself is all about giving everyone the chance to create lifelong friendships and memories, and ultimately the sport is a by-product of what we are actually about – bringing everyone together and getting everyone involved.

With all of this very much serving as the reason behind why we are so strongly pushing for these upgrades, we hope to outline below at least in part the great positive benefits that will come from upgrading the John Connell Reserve.

The value of sport and recreation is extremely well-known, and the resulting strong social bonds that form because of a person’s involvement in such a club is a commonly-known fact. It is for this reason that we wish to overhaul our home ground at John Connell Reserve – we want to give everyone the opportunity to partake in this.

Specifically, there are four key components involved in the John Connell Reserve Development Project – all of which will, as you’ll see below, play hugely important roles in expanding our capacity to bring everyone together. The reasons for the project are clear and have great merit throughout.

For example, by extending the eastern side of John Connell Reserve it will allow us at the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club to enjoy two ovals on our home ground. Upgrading and repositioning our nets will make it easier for all users to access and include modern safety requirements that until now have been considerably lacking. The upgrading of our change rooms will allow for women’s use, public toilets and access for those with physical disabilities, as well as of course modernising the internal design and incorporating many features that now come standard. Finally, our front verge overhaul will see us add new security measures, a more open and welcoming entrance, extra car parking bays and proper lighting.

In all these four key components are crucial for the future of the three clubs based at John Connell Reserve, and are so fundamentally important to ensure we are able to best deliver upon our goals of giving everyone the chance to enjoy and partake in a strong, safe and social environment.

John Connell Reserve Development Project – Four Key Components:

        1. Extension of John Connell Reserve to the east
        2. Repositioning and upgrading of the cricket nets
        3. Upgrading and expanding the change rooms
        4. Front verge overhaul for more parking and security

Despite the recent COVID-19 lockdown, work is very much continuing on this project, and we are pushing hard to deliver it in a timely and cost-effective manner that means all of our current users will have the chance to enjoy and utilise these crucial developments in the near future.

The three clubs have come together in a way not seen since the development of the new John Connell clubrooms, which were opened in 2003, and it has been fantastic to see everyone working together to help make this a reality.

There is of course a lot of work still to be done, and frustratingly we are hitting many hurdles when trying to work with the local shire at the City of Melville, but these issues are being dealt with and discussions are continuing. What we want to do in the interim though is highlight the details of what is being proposed and why it is so important, which he have done below.

Page Contents

The benefits that clubs such as the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club, the Leeming Bowls Club and the Leeming Strikers Soccer Club provide to the community are immense, helping people to develop strong social bonds, create lifelong memories, be healthier, happier and physically active.

Sport and recreation builds stronger, healthier and happier communities, increases participation among all different groups of people – and above all else it gives everyone the chance to come together and engage in social interaction. Organisations such as Act, Belong, Commit are centred around this exact purpose. The positive impacts it has on people’s mental health is particularly apparent in 2021, with the impact of COVID-19 restricting many of us in ways not seen in decades. WA’s strong position with the easing of restrictions saw us all flock back to the clubs after having gone so long without being able to be involved. This was something that was abundantly clear to us, seeing how many people love the Club and want to be part of it. We naturally want to extend this opportunity to absolutely everyone. 

It is commonly known that with the rise of women’s sport, cricket has been front and centre in getting more and more players involved with the game. We at the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club want nothing more than to have the opportunity to do the same and we are continuing to work with the WACA, State Government, local government and our community to make this possible, but of course our lack of appropriate facilities greatly inhibits this goal.

Social sporting clubs are, simply put, so tremendously important to all people – they provide us all with the chance to get involved, to come together  and empowers us to build lifelong relationships and memories. 

We therefore want to continue this mission and then some – we need to expand to fully include all people – with the addition of women’s sides and sides that form part of the WACA’s Integrated Cricket competition. This is in part for the future of the Club but primarily and most importantly, to give everyone the chance to be part of this environment and part of the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club.

We are so passionate about this, and recognise it is our duty to allow everyone to engage and come together under the roof of the Spartan Cricket Club – no matter the background. The developments at John Connell Reserve are crucial in order for us to properly achieve this and it is something we implore the entire community to get involved in because the benefits truly are unparalleled.

The John Connell Reserve Development Project is crucial for two main reasons – it will ensure the future sustainability of all three clubs and empower and give opportunity for everyone to be involved in our brilliant social community. 

The project and each of its four components are aimed with these reasons in mind – everything we are planning and needing to achieve is because it will allow all people the chance to become involved with the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club.

It is a journey that has been more than twenty-five years in the making, and now based on the last eighteen months of strenuous work and effort we are closer than ever before to making it reality.

A breakdown of what each component entails – and why it is so important and needed – is provided below, and in the coming weeks these issues are going to be brought to the forefront of the Club.

1. Two-Ovals Proposal

The first component is also the one that is garnering the most attention amongst our members and Local Government. Our two-ovals proposal at John Connell Reserve is crucial and well-overdue. It will, as the name suggests, see the John Connell Reserve expanded by approximately 18 metres on its eastern side which will allow for the addition of a second oval on the reserve.

The existing oval will be repositioned and brought closer to the clubrooms – something that will be a welcome change for anyone who has had to make the long walk out to the pitch from the clubhouse (and in some cases, immediately back to the clubhouse!).

Two ovals is so important for the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club. Our reasoning is clear – we are a Club on the brink and are already at full capacity, meaning we need to ensure we do not turn any prospective members away because of the lack of available sides that we field.

Currently, the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club has nine teams – 99 players who take to the park each week. This is an unprecedented and enormous number among cricket clubs and easily makes us the largest in our competition, the South Metropolitan Cricket Association. Additionally we have a tenth side playing on Tuesday afternoons.

Of the 99 players we have, we already have approximately another 15 who are missing out on games each week. We do our best to rotate players given a tenth side is an impossibility for Saturday cricket, but come finals some extremely difficult decisions will have to be made.

This number of 99 means that we require five home grounds at any one time given each team shuffles between a home and then an away game, taking turns on a weekly basis to utilise each venue. Currently however, within the City of Melville – the local government area in which we fall – we only have three grounds that are available to us – John Connell Reserve, Trevor Gribble Reserve and Peter Ellis Stadium.

For our fourth ground we turned desperately several years ago to the City of Canning, who were extremely accommodating and provided us with the Burrendah Reserve, and we have since upgraded and moved to the Shelley Reserve in the same shire. As for our fifth ground – well here lies the problem – there isn’t one.

Such is our current predicament, the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club has only 3 grounds in the City of Melville – the actual council in which we are based – and needed to desperately turn to the City of Canning just to accommodate the seven sides we typically field. Now with nine the issue is more apparent than ever.

The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club has fielded at least 7 sides (thereby requiring 4 home grounds) every season since we first reached that mark in 2001. We now field nine teams and in all honesty came very close to adding an unprecedented tenth this season. All teams are extremely competitive, with seven of these nine likely to play finals – including our First Grade who are undefeated in the main competition and have won it two years in a row.

The Club is booming on the back of a lot of hard work – but to our extra sides it is simply devastating to not be able to field them at a proper home ground not far from the Club. A second oval on John Connell Reserve would enable us to achieve this.

The main example exists in our ninth side, our One Day ‘H’ grade, who have no fixed home ground and spend their time sight-seeing the outer metropolitan area of Perth each week just to play a game of cricket for the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club. In the past six weeks alone they have travelled everywhere from Karragullen, Thornlie, to Armadale (twice), back to Leeming, and then out to Kenwick – all of these are, incredibly, meant to be home games. It is an ongoing issue each week and the players don’t find out where they are playing typically until the night before pending forfeits from other clubs which free up a ground.

Now I’m sure you’ll agree that this is not a trend we can allow to continue, and we run the real risk of losing these players to other clubs with proper cricket grounds that incorporate two ovals – such as the nearby Jandakot Cricket Club based at Atwell. Not only this, but it means there is absolutely zero opportunity for us to grow the Club any further and any extra teams (such as women’s sides) is very much a pipe-dream.

In the image outlined below, you will see how two ovals at John Connell Reserve would work. It would include an extension into the bushland on the eastern side – an unkempt and derelict area of bush that sits between the reserve and the discontinued rubbish tip.

Pictured above is the current ground at John Connell Reserve and the proposed second oval.

Pictured above is the John Connell Reserve in 1995 with the rubbish tip situated directly next to it.

Pictured above is the John Connell Reserve in the present day next to the disused rubbish tip.

We are pleased to confirm that we have negated any environmental concerns and a report commissioned last year by the City of Melville into the issue was extremely supportive, and noted above all else that the ten clearing principles were met and of no concern to this particular project. We will expand upon this in the coming weeks but know this – there is no environmental issue identified to date which would inhibit this project from occurring.

To bring it back to the bare basics – it is an extension of 18m east into this derelict part of the bush that serves no purpose other than to be a buffer between the oval and the rubbish tip. To top it off, we do not even require the full width and have budgeted for three-times as many flora and fauna to be planted elsewhere to replace any that are removed here.

The issue and need is extremely apparent and the City of Melville have also previously identified the John Connell Reserve as one of two ovals only within the entire City that can be expanded upon. Ultimately, we require this yesterday and for twenty-five years now have had nothing but blockages being put upon us.

We are closer than we ever have been to making this a reality – but we need to bring the time-frame forward and make this happen pronto. 

The environmental report commissioned by the City of Melville negated any concerns as to the significance of this bush area.

Frustrations arise any time you look out at John Connell Reserve during a match and see that roughly 40% of the Reserve is not being used as we are essentially able to hold 1.75 games of cricket at John Connell. We are so close to having two ovals here at John Connell that it almost becomes laughable – by pushing the fence east by just eighteen metres we would be there and ready to go.

The City of Melville also commissioned an environmental report recently that was extremely supportive of the proposed developments. A full version of the document – which is about 80 pages in size will be made available for download on this website in the near future too.

The fact that 25 years later the site remains the same is quite indicative of the difficulties we are facing in making this project possible.

John Connell Reserve – foreground shows Spartans warming up – middle shows someone setting up the existing pitch – and background shows opposition players training a considerable distance away.

2. Cricket Nets Repositioning

The second component of the John Connell Reserve upgrade plan requires the existing cricket nets to be moved so as to incorporate the second oval. This would naturally need to occur first before any other work begins. The current location of the nets prohibits a second oval being used given the fact it overlaps with the boundary.

We have professionally measured out the new location for the nets, and there are no issues whatsoever. It also has the added benefit of being closer to the carpark making it easier and more appealing to get down for training. 

We are also seeking to use this opportunity to upgrade the nets and include six training wickets – all synthetic turf – an addition of two to the existing four. The idea here is to get our Leeming Spartan Junior Cricket Club members training alongside the senior club, so as to ingratiate the future Spartans with the current ones. We are one club after all. Similarly, six nets between nine (or possibly ten) sides with juniors and potential women’s sides means the demand for six is certainly there.

A recurring theme within the City of Melville means our nets are extremely dated, falling apart and lack the modern safety features required. That aside, they are an enormous distance from the car park and carting equipment becomes quite the chore when we train.

Additional upgrades will see new safety features added to the nets – as is required in this day and age. Full-length roofing, synthetic carpet that extends the full width of the pitch (with no concrete in between the bowler’s and batter’s crease), proper mesh netting and modern rubber safety boards to protect against balls rebounding are just some of the new measures we will ensure happen at John Connell Reserve with these new cricket nets. The nets are not exclusive to the Club either, and will be available for the general public to use year-round and will not be locked up at any time.

These upgrades just make sense – not only for the purpose of getting two ovals in but for the added health and safety features that will result. They will be located in a prime position away from the impact of any third party – including the playground and entry gate onto the reserve. The plans here are very much in force and this may see some development in the next twelve months – however of course we are yet to get an absolute guarantee from local council.

Where the proposed nets would be relocated to with size adjusted for six nets in total.

There are other issues being raised by the City of Melville that we simply cannot let happen – with predominantly the suggestion of using our nets as a prototype for a multi-use area with a possible footsall (some sort of indoor-outdoor soccer hybrid) court being used. This would mean the nets are fully fenced off, meaning for one bowler’s run-ups can only be so long and also require the net mesh between each wicket be fully demountable – leading to many real concerns of theft and damage. These issues will be explained in full at a later time but for now the evidence is clear – we cannot support this idea and as the primary users of the nets need to stick with what is standard. 

Six nets would, as mentioned, allow us to train alongside the Leeming Spartan Junior Cricket Club which is something that is hugely important for all concerned. This bolsters the relationship between the senior and junior division, prepares our up and coming players for the transition to the senior club and means we can help develop our youngest players to make them even better cricketers in the future.

What We Desperately Need:

    • Modernised cricket nets
    • Repositioned closer to the clubrooms and out of the way of a second oval
    • Six (6) nets in total
    • Proper safety features
    • Proper roofing extended over the nets
    • No hybrid footsall component – just proper cricket nets
    • Lighting and adequate security measures to prohibit drug usage and other anti-social behaviour which is a common occurrence in the existing nets

As the photos outline below, our current nets pale in comparison to modern nets from around the local area including the Alan Edwards Reserve in Kardinya which recently had its nets upgraded by the City of Melville to the modern standard.

Depicted below our existing nets are the preferred designs available for use in Piara Waters – a neighbouring suburb not far from Leeming and also one of our opposition First Grade teams.

The cricket nets at John Connell Reserve as they appear today. Notice the holes in the carpet, the fact the carpet only extends halfway (safety issue) and lack of proper roofing or padding around the exterior of the nets.

An example of modern nets – these taken at Piara Waters Reserve in Piara Waters.

3. Change Room Refurb

The change rooms at John Connell Reserve are in a serious need of an upgrade, and given the fact they are over forty years old and have not seen much in the way of improvement in that time we feel now is the perfect opportunity to do so.

The primary reason behind the change room upgrades is to allow for use by women and those with physical disabilities, something that is not currently possible.

The building itself is in a dire state and was even once condemned and abandoned by local council around 2006 because of how poor it had become. A new roof was quickly slapped on the building which made it usable once more – or at least from the outside.

Internally however, things have never been worse and the fact we utilise these 44-year-old change rooms with their failing internals goes to show the predicament in which the three clubs find themselves. The rooms “feature” exposed showers, an exposed urinal that is in full view of the front door, cracked tiling, decaying ceilings, only the solitary toilet and many dark areas not properly covered by lights.

This does nothing more than be extremely off-putting for visiting clubs and our own members – particularly when you compare it to the multi-million dollar state-of-the-art clubhouse right next door. There is no way to promote ourselves as an inclusive Club that is welcoming to everyone when the first time you step foot in the change rooms on game day you are instantly appalled with their terrible state.

Our plans are therefore to modernise the facility and to incorporate six – yes six – change rooms by using the existing “shell” of the building – meaning no new walls need to be built, roofing remains as it is and no building extensions need to take place. There is plenty of room for it and having met with the City’s chief architect he is fully of the opinion that six is not only achievable – it makes absolute sense.

The reasoning for six change rooms is clear for both the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club and the Leeming Strikers Soccer Club, the primary users of the change rooms. Soccer in particular can have at any one time eight different sides playing at John Connell Reserve on a day in winter and housing eight sides from various clubs in just two rooms is impossible. Theft or misplacing items (given all the kit bags crammed into the space) is also a main concern here.

In our case, fold-away walls can make the existing rooms bigger and will allow us to utilise four change rooms across our two ovals at John Connell Reserve when needed. On competition days we will also get full use out of the six change rooms and it allows our juniors the chance to have a space all to themselves and not be interrupted by the arriving senior players who’s game immediately follows.

Alarmingly, there is no capacity for the clubs to field senior women’s teams because the facilities are so poor. With only two lavatories across the two change rooms – neither of which are designed for women – along with the fact they are located next to open urinals and showers really is unacceptable in this day and age.

Times have changed and these change rooms should too. If we are serious about fielding women’s teams – which we undoubtedly are – we need to have the proper facilities. The Leeming Spartan Junior Cricket Club, who already field six junior girls cricket teams refuse to use (and rightly so) the John Connell Reserve change rooms because of how bad they are. Instead, Mums are holding up a towel in the car park so the girls can get changed with at least some decency before a game. That really is appalling.

Our junior cricket club, who already fields half a dozen girls sides, is so put-off by the disgusting change rooms that the players are having instead to get changed in the car park. How this can be allowed to continue to happen is completely unacceptable.

When you have only two change rooms and the boys or in some cases senior sides (who arrive early) are getting ready in the change rooms, there is no opportunity for the girls teams to make use of the change rooms despite starting – and finishing – their match first. Whatever the case, a core group of our clubs are missing out because of these facilities. The soccer club alone, who already have several senior women’s sides, have lost three teams to go play other sports because of how bad the change rooms are. 

Similarly, there are no universal access toilets in the facility meaning those requiring the use of ambulant facilities cannot go to John Connell Reserve. This too continues to further our push for proper change room facilities.

The change rooms as they were in 2016. Not much has changed since they were opened in the 1970s. It is also worth noting the bathroom facilities and how they are not in-line with modern day requirements.

The Leeming Spartan clubhouse pictured left was built in 2003 alongside the current change rooms which came about in the 1970s.

The lack of adequate change rooms is perhaps the biggest challenge we face for the future of the three clubs here at John Connell Reserve.

We are serious about our role in giving everyone the chance to play cricket and the fact of the matter is that these change rooms – being so dated and decrepit – prevent us from doing this. How can we advertise and promote the women’s game when the first time they come to the club to play they experience these facilities? It simply isn’t possible and means despite the fact we could easily fill a women’s side tomorrow, we are still years off from achieving this. All the while getting left behind by the other clubs and sports.

It is an incredible shame, and one we have so much opportunity and ease to fix. The change room structure is solid – more so than anything being built today, with its double-brick walls and sound foundation, new roof and the fact it is wired, plumbed and otherwise ready to go. A simple comparison can be made when going to grounds in nearby venues outside the City of Melville, the difference is stark and the way these changing rooms are being built and designed is far more ‘future-proof’ than anything we have at our disposal. 

Much of our change room building is also no longer properly used. There is even an old kitchen and clubroom inside which we lease out to help pay a few bills. Neither of these rooms are required when less than ten meters away is the aforementioned multi-million dollar clubroom with its lavish space and industrial kitchen.

Therefore ultimately, the space in the change rooms is wasted and continues to see no proper progress made. It is a huge building and one that as you can see below, will easily incorporate six change rooms. The below sketch was provided courtesy of the City of Melville and their architectural team, but disappointingly no commitment to actually commencing works in the building has been made.

Continued frustrations rely on the fact that the City is pushing for only four change rooms despite our pleas and requirements. This makes little sense and will leave a large portion of the building empty and untouched, resulting in wasted space and no opportunity for further growth. 

The issue here is simple. We need six change rooms and modern facilities for women and universal access. It really is simple as that and makes genuine sense. Particularly ahead of the upcoming Women’s Soccer World Cup which is being held in Australia and the WACA’s increased commitments into making women’s cricket bigger than ever, there really has never been a better time to get this project up and running.

The blue prints of our existing change rooms as they have been for over 44 years now. Space is in abundance and a proper repurposing of the existing rooms would make this project far simpler than building from scratch.

An example of how six change rooms could fit into the building and still meet all the necessary standards.

4. Car Park Cleanup

The final component of the John Connell Reserve Development Project involves modernising and fixing up the entrance into the entire complex. For years the entrance into the John Connell Reserve car park and three sports clubs has looked unfinished, and now is the time to fix this.

The entrance is quite embarrassing really given the incredible facility behind it that has been built to overlook the reserve. A nice suggestion would be something as simple as putting a feature wall at the front, cleaning up the gardens and displaying the three club logos as you come in. 

Other important measures are also being requested that goes hand-in-hand with the rest of the development. Additional car parking bays has long been a must for anyone who has been to the venue on a summer Saturday afternoon – given it is the peak time for two of the three clubs. The car park is always chockers and many have to resort to parking up to 200 metres away just to get a spot. 

The plan here is to utilise the unkempt area that sits just below the private car park at John Connell Reserve – lay out some gravel and make arrangements for parking bays to be implemented. A nice staircase that leads up to the entry and viola, the problem is solved. None of the gum trees even need to be cleared, the area already has a bitumen road laid out (as it was an old service road) and the area is gated and relatively secure.

Honestly, it is not a big ask but again the issue lies with getting the Council to approve it. Their estimated $50,000.00 for this purpose (the car bays alone) also needs to be properly looked at. It, like everything we’ve outlined above, makes a lot of sense and is achievable in a short time frame. We’re not cutting down sacred fauna (or any fauna for that matter) and are simply utilising the existing service road and chucking down some gravel alongside it so we can park a few more vehicles. The hold up here is very frustrating and really is something we could knock over in a week. Herein lies the problem.

On the topic of sprucing up the front entrance into the John Connell Reserve complex, we also want to add in some much-needed safety features. For too long the area has been a go to for anti-social behaviour because of its secluded location down Dimond Court, and in recent times this has worsened considerably. 

The addition of proper CCTV cameras in the area would work wonders and be a welcome addition. The poor lighting along this stretch can certainly and should be improved and make us feel safer when locking up the venue – usually in the late hours of the night. I personally have had my vehicle broken into twice in a six month period after years of never having had any issues. Just the other day we were horrified to discover over 100 discard and uncapped syringes left by the door of the change rooms. The ever-popular nitrous oxide bottles (or more commonly known as ‘nangs’) are a common find in the sand pit too. 

The nature of our club being in a secluded location in Leeming is the primary reason for all of this occurring. Having worked many night shifts in the past two years and coming home at all hours of the day I can assure you that a lot of activity goes on at John Connell Reserve when the sun goes down. It is the dimly-lit location that makes this a perfect location for this sort of behaviour, and is something we cannot let continue.

A rise in antisocial behaviour after dark has created a vital need for improved security measures in our car park, with the addition of lighting and CCTV cameras forming part of our car park revamp component, alongside beautifying the front entry and incorporating space for the three club logos to be displayed. 

The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club is meant to be a safe and welcoming space for all – no matter what time it is. Having locked up alone on many occasions previously, I can also safely say that when carrying the money tin I need to have one eye looking over my shoulder at all times as I walk to the car – assuming it hasn’t already been broken into of course.

The break-in that we suffered in 2018 just months before our one-hundredth anniversary saw us lose over $30,000.00 worth of stock – much of which we still have not replaced to this day, and another such instance or even one half the size would be seriously detrimental to the Club and our members.

These added security measures will go a long way into preventing the antisocial behaviour that goes on after midnight, will ease the pressure on patrols from the local security rangers and help reassure everyone that the place is safe and secure.

Coupled with a rejuvenated front entrance, we can further make it known that the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club, the Leeming Bowls Club and Leeming Strikers Soccer Club together share one of the best sporting complexes in Western Australia.

How We’ll Proceed

We’re continuing to work with the local council, the City of Melville, but information has been limited at best and only received in small doses. We will and we must continue to keep raising the issue with them in order to make progress. It is a frustrating and time consuming challenge but one we are certainly up for and have been repeatedly over the past eighteen months.

Through reading a recent article in the Melville Times (that will be made available on this website also), we were informed a vote would be conducted this week to determine whether the project could be brought forward. This was news to us and we eagerly await the result. Similarly, we are still chasing proper costings and investigation into the development by the City, who have given us a number of differing figures to date that do not make a lot of sense.

Of course there was always going to be bureaucracy at the heart of getting any project up and running in the community – we understand this. But when you have all three clubs coming together to work on it and offer their assistance – particularly given we are the primary users of the facility who are there every day, it is extremely disappointing to see the lack of action taken for the past twenty-five years. Now is the time, and we are pushing harder than ever to make it happen.

All of this – the John Connell Reserve Development Project – may sound like the whinges of a disheartened club member, who has long been frustrated at the lack of improvement at the ground, but in all honestly the issues are real and the fixes are simple. We just need to get cracking on it. Given now the Clubs, the State, the Mayor and the Federal Governments are all willing and ready – it just makes sense to make it happen now. 

It has been extremely pleasing to have the support of the Mayor of the City of Melville, George Gear, in this project, but it appears that the administrative staff are having the last laugh as we struggle to get proceedings underway. Our State Member, Yaz Mubarakai MLA (Member for Jandakot) is extremely passionate about this project and has been a great supporter helping us to get things this far. Similarly, the candidate for the seat of Riverton – Dr. Jags has similarly been a fundamental figure in enabling us to get this far, as has our Federal Member Ben Morton. We are continuing to work with each level of government to get this going.

Similarly, we have reached out to the WACA and are set to meet with them in the near future to organise possible ways they can assist. Funding commitments, grant applications and the like are also all being worked on.

In the mean time, we wanted to provide the above information to our members and the community at large given how it will affect everyone. We think now is the time to go public with the situation and what we desperately need.

We are asking everyone in the meantime to please get in touch with our local representatives and express everyone’s personal take on why this project is so important. Likewise, we ask that you please stay tuned for more information regarding the John Connell Reserve Development Project and help spread the word.

For now, we will be updating our website all week to provide as much information as possible about the project and where we stand. As noted, things like proper costings, the environmental report and media articles will be made publicly available in the days ahead. 

Fundamentally, the situation at John Connell Reserve has never been more important. The three clubs – Leeming Spartan Cricket Club, Leeming Bowls Club and Leeming Strikers Soccer Club and our more than 700 collective members deserve and need this. It is our obligation to provide everyone with the chance to be part of a social sporting community, and one we are so passionate about. We need this, and now is certainly the time to make it happen!

Please Note: The contents of this article are the expressions and opinions of the journalist and may not directly correlate with those of the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club (Inc.). All rights reserved.

Share Spartan news with your mates!