Bring back indoor cricket, Todd Ruttley says

CRICKETERS haven't given up on an indoor facility returning to Port Macquarie at some stage.

Jiminy's Insports Arena closed down in 2006 leaving cricketers with no where to turn during the winter months.

Some of the area's cricketers, including Nathan Lyon from Wauchope RSL, travel to and from Kempsey each week to get in a game of indoor cricket.

Lyon said he would love to see some facilities in Port Macquarie and believes it would be widely used by the area's cricketers. 

"We take a team of eight up in two cars each Monday to Kempsey to have a game," he said. "I think there would be a huge potential for it in Port Macquarie with the amount of clubs around.

"It would benefit cricketers games boosting certain skill levels, there's a real potential for skill development. I'm pretty sure all the clubs would get on board with it and field teams."

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Former Australian indoor cricketer Shayne Redden who now resides on the Gold Coast said it was a huge shame when Jiminy's closed down.

"I was actually a part of the Australian team when it shut down," he said. "There's a bit of a mixed argument that indoor cricket can have a negative affect on your outdoor game, but, I think if used right, it can really improve a few aspects of your game."

He said an indoor facility in Port Macquarie would go on to boost the outdoor version.

"Playing indoor is a bit of a novelty, and I think a lot of people would then be interested to go on to play outdoor," he said.

Despite not having any facilities, Port Macquarie can still boast being home to the state and national indoor coach, Kerrie Brill.

Brill has coached the national team for six years and is waiting to get the nod for her seventh year.

She said she would love to see an indoor centre back in town and said there has been some talk of it over the years but nothing has come of it.

Todd Ruttley ran Jiminy's before it shut down and said he was interested in seeing indoor cricket back strong in Port Macquarie.

"What it needs is someone committed to follow it up and talk with council," he said. "I haven't given up hope to see it back in Port, it used to be unbelievably popular. 

"It's always been in the back of my mind. "I think it would be ideal for the area and I think Port needs it."

Ruttley said the best thing about an indoor cricket centre was it could cater for many other sports including soccer, netball and volleyball.

Get it back: Todd Ruttley wants to see indoor cricket back as a force in Port Macquarie.

Get it back: Todd Ruttley wants to see indoor cricket back as a force in Port Macquarie.

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