Steph Cooke stands in the new nets and cuts a red ribbon. Holding the ribbon is Andrew Scott who wears a white cricket polo shirt. Surrounding them are adults and children from the Coolac Cricket Club.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has opened upgrades to Coolac Oval at the Coolac Cricket Club’s first game of the season.

The cricket season has kicked off in style with Ms Cooke unveiling new cricket nets and picket fencing, made possible through a $200,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund.

Improvements to the Coolac Hall were also funded through this grant and are well underway. When completed they will include relining and a new kitchen.

Ms Cooke said it was clear the improvements would be well-used by the community.

“I am a passionate believer in sport and its ability to bring the community together, so I am very pleased these upgrades are ready for the cricket season,” Ms Cooke said.

“Coolac is a fantastic community and deserves state of the art facilities for locals and visitors to enjoy. Well done to the Club for all their hard work so far, and to the community for their ongoing improvements to the Hall.”

Andrew Scott from the Coolac Cricket Club said the new facilities would help develop young players in the community.

“We’ve got a lot of young kids coming through and it’s great to have them in the nets on weeknights training and on game days the nets are full of kids having fun. Without the nets they don’t have the opportunity to develop their skills and people would have to travel in to the bigger centres,” Mr Scott said.

“It’s great we’ve had this support, we wouldn’t have been able to get these projects done without Steph.”