NORTHERN Raiders says it's "blown away" with early support for a one of its key turf wicket fundraising campaigns but is determined to drum up more support.
The Standard on Saturday revealed the Purnim Recreation Reserve-based club would start work on the multi-thousand dollar project in coming weeks in a major boost for its Warrnambool and District Cricket Association division one ambitions.
Teams entering the top grade must have a turf pitch to play on. The Raiders, which are the new identity of former Grassmere Cricket Association powerhouses Purnim and Grassmere, were founded in 2020.
The turf pitch will be built on Rodger Henderson Oval while a hard wicket will remain on the adjacent Peter McDonald Oval.
The club has now launched a buy a turf sod fundraiser in a bid to give community a tie to the incoming wicket.
Purnim Recreation Reserve secretary Peter McDonald said interest had been strong but said the club would welcome more support to help fund the project, which is estimated to cost in the region of $100,000.
Donations are $50 and can be purchased via one name per sod. Additional sods are available thereafter in $50 per sod.
Rodger Henderson, a Purnim legend who served as recreation reserve president for years, said he was proud to see the turf wicket project come to fruition.
"The turf wicket was a dream and we knew when we went to the WDCA that would be key. We couldn't see the point going in and being happy to muck around in divvy two, three and four," he said.
"To attract better players, you've got to have good facilities and you've got to have a turf wicket for a start to qualify.
"We realise it wasn't going to be straight in and do what we want but we thought if we put the work in, we'd get there. Peter McDonald and Mick McKinnon have been great. I'm a big believer in succession and when I gave away the presidency of the rec reserve 13 years ago, I knew I was handing it to the right bloke in Mick."
Email email@example.com for information on how to buy a sod.
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