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CLUB HISTORY - by Gerry Garrity

The Western District Cricket Club was established in 1967, and in that year it participated in the ACTCA Men’s Grade Competition.  In those days clubs had residential boundaries but these limitations were lifted in the early 1980’s.  Over the years, the men’s competition has been played on Saturdays while Sundays have been availed of sparingly in recent seasons.  Throughout most of its history, the Club has fielded four or five grade sides.  In the mid-seventies, the Club also participated in the City & Suburban Competition for two or three seasons.

Despite the removal of residential constraints, WDCC has continued to serve a substantial sector of the Belconnen area.  For most of its existence, it has participated in the Juniors competition, though in recent seasons, Evatt/Wests – a separate but related organisation – has coordinated the junior sector.  Though the number of teams representing Wests in the Juniors Competition varies from year to year, there have been seasons when twenty five sides from the club participated principally on Saturday mornings.

The Club has fielded sides in the Women’s competition since the 1980’s and has achieved remarkable success in that competition.  Women’s cricket has been played on Sundays.  In recent years there have been two age competitions for women – Under 17 and 19.  For the past thirteen seasons, a men’s veterans’ team has participated in a mid-week competition of 25 overs played over the daylight savings period.  A minimum age of 40 years applies though two players, of at least 35years, are permitted in each team.

Whilst originally, the club’s principal venue was O’Connor Oval, in recent seasons its grounds have been Kaleen and Aranda Ovals.  Jamison Oval is scheduled for competition usage in 2002/03 and will become the club’s major ground.  All these ovals have turf pitches.  Practices for women and men have always been conducted at Aranda Oval, which originally had turf practice nets, but synthetic pitches replaced them nearly twenty years ago.  The juniors train at several grounds in the Belconnen area.

ACT sides are chosen from players in the men’s and women’s grade ranks and junior competitions.  In this regard, there have been many Wests players chosen in ACT representative sides, including several captains, while one former member rose to the top by being chosen in the Australian Women’s open team.  The Club has been fortunate, at times, to have one of its members win the best and fairest award for grade cricket in the ACT.  The performances of club teams, over the years, can be found in the club’s annual report, which also details winners of the special annual individual awards.  Many of the club’s players and administrators have also contributed considerably towards the conduct of the ACTCA.  The Club is registered under the Associations Incorporations Act.

Almost since its inception WDCC has been aligned with the Western District Rugby Union Club Inc and is an affiliate member of that club.  After matches, players normally convene at the Rugby Club at Jamison, which has been remarkably generous in its support – financial and otherwise – towards cricket.