Plans for Cricket Whanganui's new indoor training facility are able to move into top gear now the funding target of $100,000 has been reached.
The facility is set to be built on the upper level of the Jubilee Stadium at Springvale Park by the end of May.
Cricket Whanganui board member Andrew Penn said the funding would allow them to buy pitches, netting, a bowling machine and video analysis equipment.
"We're actually over the target, and we're keeping funding open until the end of March," Penn said.
"Whatever we raise goes straight back into the facility."
Players and coaches were "really constrained" if they weren't able to train over the winter months, Penn said, something the new facility would allow.
"That's the situation we've been in, and why we've perhaps fallen behind a wee bit, compared to places like Horowhenua Kāpiti, Wairarapa or Taranaki."
Cricket Whanganui chairman Mark Lithgow said building a new, stand-alone complex would be "bloody expensive", so being able to use the space at the stadium was perfect.
"Ideally, programmes will start in July/August, with 10 to 12 weeks leading into the season," Lithgow said.
"That would be for older players, and for the younger ones it would be a six- to eight-week programme."
Securing additional coaches for the facility was another job on the to-do list for Cricket Whanganui, Lithgow said.
"Techniques in some of the players have gone backwards in the last few years, so having something like this will get them practising consistently, regardless of the weather.
"There is some really good talent throughout our under-17s and under-15s and even going down further, but in behind them are those who just need that little extra bit of coaching.
"With that, they'll be coming through too."
Penn said having the coaches supported by access to video analysis equipment would further add to players' development.
"You can actually see your technique, slow it down and get some proper coaching. You can't do any of that without a facility like this.
"It will operate on an online booking system as well, so anyone can come down and have a go. You can book it for three hours at $60 or something, and cricketers can be self-sufficient."
The net would consist of three lanes, one of which would be equipped with a bowling machine, Lithgow said.
The expansive space at Jubilee Stadium will also allow bowlers to come off any length of run-up.
"Both Andrew and I played cricket for Whanganui, and we're both pretty damn passionate about cricket here," Lithgow said.
"Steve Meredith is another big one like that, and he's getting Whanganui High School cricket back up and running. Getting numbers up there is vital, because they're the ones who go through to our club cricket in the end."
Lithgow said the major funders of the project were the Four Regions Trust, Whanganui District Council and Central Districts Cricket Trust, with additional money being provided by local businesses and the local cricketing community.
"Without having an indoor facility, it's very hard to get cricket up and running pre-season, in any sort of capacity.
"We are always behind the 8-ball when we're playing games in October and November, even right through to the junior levels.
"We'll lose to Horowhenua in November but then beat them in February, purely because of a lack of pre-season training. We'll have a little hit around in October, and they've been in their indoor nets for three months.
"Having something like this changes everything. I'm pretty excited, we've pushed the go button."
For further information on Cricket Whanganui's new indoor cricket facility, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.facebook.com/cricketwhanganui.