Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke watched the Young Cherrypickers during a training session today and learned how the club’s rapid growth is being helped by a NSW Government grant.

Ms Cooke visited the 16-year-old league tag girls at Keith Cullen Oval and saw how the game’s increasing popularity meant the club’s existing facilities needed an upgrade.

“It was fantastic to see the dedication these girls were showing during their training and how committed they were to improving not only themselves but the team as well,” Ms Cooke said.

“The club has seen major growth in the number of female players and it had become pretty clear that the changing facilities were no longer coping.

“In 2011 they had four registered female players, this year they have 114 girls registered in five league tag sides.

“So the club made an application to the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund and received $99,556 to help them upgrade their changerooms and toilet block.

“Soon the players will be able to get changed in a fully equipped changeroom with showers, and there will also be a fully accessible toilet for wheelchair users visiting the park.”

Donna Dal Molin, secretary of Young Junior Rugby League, has been watching the changerooms develop and said the new facilities will give the team’s female players somewhere to get changed, have a hot shower and store their belongings during games and training.

“They’ve got the slab down and they’ve been knocking down some of the existing building. Each day I go there, there’s something different,” Mrs Dal Molin said.

“There’s definitely been a growth in female participation in our sport, which has led to us applying for the grant and then building the facility.

“It’ll be nice to have a place for the girls to go, get changed, feel comfortable, and have a place for teams to gather and enjoy some pre and post-game socialisation.”