HITTING ZONE: Ipswich West MP Jim Madden with Ipswich Musketeers president Jon Campbell and foundation club members Ken Hogan and Neil Bradley inside the new batting cage facility built at Tivoli.
HITTING ZONE: Ipswich West MP Jim Madden with Ipswich Musketeers president Jon Campbell and foundation club members Ken Hogan and Neil Bradley inside the new batting cage facility built at Tivoli.

Batting facility uncages abilities

THE Ipswich Musketeers are already benefiting from the construction of a state-of-the-art batting cage at their Tivoli base.

The State Government granted the club $144,000 to make possible the facility which officially opened at Old Boys’ Day on March 1.

After two failed applications, the grant was attained with the assistance of Andre Teuwson from Pro Sport International and additional lobbying by West Ipswich MP Jim Madden.

“It was third time lucky,” Ipswich Musketeers president Jon Campbell said.

The purpose-built structure features two spacious batting tunnels and astroturf flooring. It is also fully undercover and equipped with LED lighting, meaning the Muskies can now train any time of the day rain, hail or shine.

The cage has been in place since September and Campbell said he had already witnessed players improving, particularly the juniors and women.

He said the facility offered a more realistic simulation of hitting in a game by allowing budding talents to strike more balls in a shorter time span and gain a better indication of their bat swing and where the ball was travelling.

There is also the ability to remove the centre netting and use the space for other training purposes.

Campbell said the batting cage would save the club considerable time typically spent collecting balls.

He said it would also save the Musketeers money by preserving balls that would otherwise be subjected to at times damps outfields which expedited wear and tear.

“The women used it a lot this year and they benefited greatly on their way to the premiership,” Campbell said.

“I’ve also seen improvement in the younger players already.

“We are seeing the improvement reflected in results. We have one junior under-12 team that is undefeated and will probably play in the grand final.”

Madden said it was wonderful to hear that the application was successful and the batting cage built.

“It’s a massive building,” he said.

“It’s got two alleyways and is about 30m long.”

Madden said the Musketeers were an Ipswich sporting success story which had produced countless state reps and he was more than happy to help such a well-run club.

“It is a wonderful club,” he said.

“It is so well-managed. Jon Campbell steers the club around well and the committee are very professional. All I can do is lobby but I’m very pleased to support the application through the government’s discontinued ‘Get in the Game’ program.”

Campbell said Teuwson had been instrumental in assisting the Musketeers to attain several much-needed grants in recent years, which had funded the purchasing of a new mower, electronic scoreboard, equipment trailer and the rollout of in-school programs to encourage participation.

He said the club would not have successfully secured the necessary funding without Teuwson’s expertise.

The Musketeers will host eight junior grand finals on April 4, with teams converging from all over southeast Queensland.

Campbell said Baseball Queensland had assigned the playoffs to Ipswich because there were two fields at Tivoli, so games could run concurrently. He said the club’s handling of the batting cage application had also garnered interest from Baseball Queensland officials.