The dream of a dedicated cricket pitch for the Terrace Cricket Club has finally come to fruition as the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine has greenlit a space for them at the Thornhill Community Lands.
Kam Siemens, the president of the Terrace Cricket Club, spoke about the significance of this announcement after attending the regional district’s board meeting on Aug. 18 in Hazelton. “These guys have been relentlessly pursuing this dream for five years. Now, our focus will pivot towards fundraising to expand the program and make it accessible to the youth and broader community.”
The lack of a dedicated pitch had players improvising on a parking lot, leading to injuries, a suboptimal playing experience, and jeopardizing their jobs. Siemens emphasized the importance of a dedicated and safe playing platform, noting the sacrifices and commitments many of the players made to see this vision realized.
In May, The Terrace Standard reported on the Terrace Cricket Club’s relentless efforts to secure a pitch. The team, which began with a mere 16 players facing numerous challenges, has seen its numbers grow exponentially. Today, the club manages three teams — the Downtown Dragons, Terrace Thunder, and Punjab Panthers — and boasts over 60 players.
Sukhjinder Singh, co-coach of the Punjab Panthers, reflected on the team’s humble beginnings. “In our initial days, we struggled to play, with limited players and even more limited space.” He spoke about the club’s current priority to elevate their seasoned players and represent Terrace on a grander stage. Singh highlighted the game’s technical requirements, emphasizing the need for a hard surface for safety and optimum play.
Both Singh and co-coach Soma Raviendran spoke about the future with optimism. The latter expressed gratitude for the unwavering commitment and passion of players and supporters, hinting at grand plans for a Cricket Carnival during Riverboat Days next year, which could see participation from teams in Prince George, Vancouver and beyond.
Furthermore, Raviendran shared an exciting opportunity presented by a local pastor, which would introduce cricket to students at Veritas Catholic School. “Our dream is to see boys and girls from our community representing Canada on the global stage,” he remarked.
With the pitch’s construction underway, the hope is to have it ready for use next year. “We need to construct a pitch ensuring a true bounce and add green matting to it. This way, both the batter and the bowler get a real playing experience,” Singh revealed.
As the Terrace Cricket Club looks to the future, registration with Cricket B.C. and Cricket Canada is on the horizon. Raviendran hinted at more players joining this fall, potentially pushing the club’s numbers closer to 100.
Reflecting on their five-year journey, Singh stated, “I can now say to players wishing to move to Terrace that cricket is growing in this city. I think this is a huge deal.”
Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.