Pāpāmoa Cricket Club on the rise!
By NZC Thursday 07 March 2024, 11:00 am

Situated near Mount Maunganui, the idyllic suburb of Pāpāmoa is one of the fastest growing areas in New Zealand.

Seven years ago, there was just one thing missing for locals – a cricket club.

Until 2017, cricket in Pāpāmoa existed informally, played through schools and occasionally by nomad teams setting up in the area.

A group of individuals residing in Pāpāmoa came together to envision what a cricket club could look like if built from the ground up in Pāpāmoa.

Working with the Western Bay of Plenty and Bay of Plenty Cricket Associations, Pāpāmoa Cricket Club was established in 2017.

Since then, Pāpāmoa Cricket Club have grown to be one of the largest cricket clubs in Bay of Plenty, now with over 17 registered teams and their own social competition.

The club is situated on the Alice Johnson Oval, a piece of land initially gifted to the community as a passive reserve.

Over time it was transformed into a cricket oval as per the desires of the Johnson Family.

Club President Mark Divehall spoke to the drivers behind his club’s success.

“Our location has undoubtedly contributed to our success, benefitting from a constant influx of new residents into the area,” explained Divehall.

“However, it is the commitment and dedication of the club's volunteers that stand out as crucial elements in fostering a thriving cricketing community,

“Pāpāmoa Cricket Club has been fortunate to attract and retain community-minded and passionate cricket administrators, contributing significantly to the club's success.”

The dedication shown by Pāpāmoa CC volunteers has translated to on-field successes for the young cricket club.

The club has accumulated six senior cricket titles across various competitions, and quickly progressed through senior grades, now represented at BOPCA Premier level.

Now seven years into their journey, the club has witnessed the progression of their first cricketers from junior/youth to senior cricket.

The whānau connection at the club is evident, with several fathers and sons or daughters who are both playing for the club.

Off-field the results have been even more impressive.

Pāpāmoa have forged strong relationships with their seven local kura, allowing them to effectively connect with other youth in the area.

The club have prioritized high-quality facilities and are now proud owners of a grass block and a four-lane outdoor net.

An exciting development is that the construction of a new pavilion - the Alice Johnson Pavilion - will commence later this year.

These successes were recognised by Northern Districts Cricket Association at their 2022/23 awards evening, with Pāpāmoa Cricket Club collecting Club of the Year.

For Divehall - a key contributor in making this club a reality – the opportunity to be a part of something bigger was a key motivation.

“The inception of Pāpāmoa Cricket Club, while causing initial tensions with some of my old club mates at Mount Maunganui CC, was driven by the motivation of ensuring cricket was available locally for my family, friends, and community,” said Divehall.

“Beyond trophies and competitions, the club has created a sense of belonging, community pride, a family friendly atmosphere, and a safe space for our tamariki and community to express themselves,”

“Looking forward, our commitment to cricket remains the same - we aim to enhance access for anyone enthusiastic about playing cricket, fostering a lifelong love for the game.”

Among lofty plans for Pāpāmoa CC, Divehall holds a simple wish for his own future.

“My hope for the future is simple; to share a beer with fellow ex-Pāpāmoa senior players on the deck of the Alice Johnson Pavilion, watching their kids or, better yet, grandkids play cricket for Pāpāmoa.”