A green ribbon is cut by members of the Young Yabbies Rugby Club and Steph Cooke MP.
Mayor of Hilltops Council Cr Brian Ingram, President of Young Rugby Union Football Club Cec Finley and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP with members of the Yabbies Club at the opening of the upgrades.

The Young ‘Yabbies’ have a revamped home with new change rooms, seating and netting unveiled today at Cranfield Oval.

The upgrades were made possible thanks to the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund which contributed $280,833 to construct seating, a storage shed, new change rooms for women, men and referees and goal nets.

The Club has previously received grants to fix drainage on the site and to turn a single oval in to two grounds, bringing the Government’s total spend at the site to more than $900,000.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the upgrades highlighted the NSW Government’s commitment to regional infrastructure and sport.

“It’s fantastic to see what the Young Rugby Club is doing and how they are working to expand their sport for all players, with these new change rooms catering to both men and women,” she said.

“We all need to be getting out and playing more sport, and it doesn’t hurt to have great upgrades to well-loved facilities like Cranfield Oval.”

“The Stronger Country Communities Fund is there to help projects around regions like ours and it’s wonderful seeing it put to such good use.”

Young Yabbies Rugby Union Football Club president Cec Finley said the upgrades have had an immediate positive impact for the club, reducing the risk of player injury off the field.

“We’ve been able to put in some new netting so we won’t be chasing balls out on to the street and down in to the creek,” Mr Finley said.

“It’s been a godsend for us to be able to improve our facilities, not only for our players but for our spectators and our sponsors.”

Mr Finley said the upgrades have created new opportunities for players.

“Being able to build female change rooms means for the first time in our club’s history we have a women’s side entered in to the Central West Rugby’s Oil Plus South West Women’s Competition.

“We’ve been able to attract players to this team with these new facilities which is fantastic.”