Dubbo and the western area has a proud history when it comes to developing elite cricket talent, and former Australian Country representative Tim Cox is certain the creation of the Western Region Institute of Sport will only make it stronger.
Cox is one of the many former Dubbo juniors who spent much of his winter and pre-season travelling far and wide to train.
While it didn’t stop him from playing in Sydney for 10 years before returning home to become a great of NSW Country Cricket, Cox said the fact so many players will now be able to stay closer to home while developing can only be a good thing.
“Growing up out at a property I spent a lot of time travelling a lot of distances to, during the 1990s, what was the best facilities and that was the boarding schools in Bathurst and Orange,” he said.
“It was shockingly cold winters there … it wasn’t the fondest memories of doing the trips home with the fingers and toes jammed in the heaters to defrost.
“I’d love to be a young kid growing up now, the potential for them now is huge.
“Great facilities attract great people to our game but not only that, it encourages people to improve their skills and talent and purse their goal of playing at the highest level.”
Cox remembers a time when he and his family had to make major sacrifices for him to be able to pursue his own dream. His schooling and education suffered, while much time with friends was also lost.
That won’t happen to the next generation, with Cox certain the next group of up-and-comers will have all they need to develop on their doorstep.
“It will attract the best state coaches of all levels from under 13s through to opens,” he said.
“They’ll be more than happy to come out and run training programs and give the best advice on offer.
“That will benefit boys and girls in the cricketing community for generations to come.”
Indoor matches won’t be the focus for the facility at the institute, with it instead being a place for elite training. The surface will be a state-of-the-art one suitable for bowling and batting while nets will be there as well.
There is already “wonderful talent” in Dubbo, Cox said while referring to the likes of Australian under 16s representative Brock Larance, and he said more youngsters coming through will now have a better chance of representing Dubbo on the big stage.
It will also mean players from even further west will get a chance to train closer to home.
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