With an internationally-renowned coach plying his trade, a spike in player registrations and twice as many teams competing each weekend, almost half of the Diggers Rest Bulla Village Cricket Club’s divisions are set to take place in the finals of the Gisborne and District Cricket Association this season.

Thanks to yearly sponsorships from AVID Property Group’s (AVID) masterplanned community, Bloomdale, the Club has grown significantly in recent seasons and, following the appointment of former Sri Lankan all-rounder Rasika Batepola to coach last year, is on track for success.

Diggers Rest Bulla Village Cricket Club President Rhys Berry said AVID Bloomdale’s endorsement of $10,000 this season will enable the Club to expand its facilities and encourage members of the local community to get involved in cricket.

“The Club’s growth – including the addition of our much-loved coach Rasika Batepola – has made our Club much more attractive to new players in the area,” Mr Berry said.

“Cricket is evolving and changing, and this contribution could not come at a better time to help us improve our facilities to provide the best possible training and competition environment for our players.

“The Club has had a great relationship with AVID for years now – I’ve even built a home at Bloomdale and moved in with my family recently.

“AVID is creating a wonderful community at Bloomdale and it’s great to see its investment in Diggers Rest extend to supporting local sporting clubs.”

Diggers Rest and Bulla residents have been represented on the local cricket fields since 1988, with player retention and support for the club at its highest point to date.

AVID Property Group General Manager Victoria Peter Vlitas said the sponsorship of the local club is part of its ongoing commitment to the Diggers Rest community.

“I am so pleased that Bloomdale is able to support the Diggers Rest Bulla Village Cricket Club -we couldn’t be prouder to have watched them shine and secure positions in the finals this season,” Mr Vlitas said.

“Here at AVID, we are committed to supporting local sporting clubs that bring people together, with community spirit often the cornerstone to a team’s success.

“Sporting clubs have an important community role in terms of providing safe, social environments where people can enjoy organised sport and it’s something we will continue to support wherever we can.

“It all comes down to our commitment to leaving a legacy and bringing communities together – we’re here to deliver places rather than projects.”

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