This year the Athlone News celebrates its 30th birthday but 10 years before we first opened shop, there was a cricket club writing headlines of its own when they came together to form Avendale Cricket Club.
Forty years on the club has come a long way but still stays true to its roots in the community. Although he only joined the club four years ago, youth convenor Ian Pakoe has seen the club go from strength to strength in a short space of time, as they unpacked their junior squads and cemented their position in the Western Province 1B league at senior level.
His next goal is to build a thriving women’s team and get girls into the junior ranks to develop the prospects of finding the next batch of female Proteas.
“I first joined the club when my son started playing at the age of 11 or 12.
“Over the past four years we have got our junior sections back up and running as that was a problem area for us at the time.
“We now have two teams per age division. Our senior sides have filled out as well and we have five full senior teams, who have had a steady rise in the 1B division. Next year we are looking to stake our claim in the league and shoot for a position in the 1A league.
“We have a lot of festivities planned to celebrate hitting the 40-year mark, from a karaoke night in October and our open Avendale Day to dinner-dances in December and at the end of our season.
“Our club is always looking to grow numbers across all ages but my real focus for the new season is going to be getting a strong women’s team going.
“We currently have three girls in the senior set-ups who are all provincial level players and we have about four girls in our mini cricket leagues. My goal is to attract players who want to be the next Protea team and develop their sporting skills,” he said.