$1.1m injection for sports projects

MORE than $1.1 million has been injected into local sporting projects, including a complete surface upgrade of the Gawler Central netball courts and a new synthetic hockey and tennis area at Trinity College.
Yesterday afternoon, Recreation and Sport Minister Leon Bignell announced the successful recipients of the first round of the new Sporting Surfaces Program, providing 38 organisations with $8
million to upgrade or establish artificial playing surfaces.
Sharing in the funding was the Gawler Central Sporting Club, which has been awarded $251,500 to upgrade its netball courts at the Gawler Oval precinct.
Gawler Central Netball Cub president Leanne Songer said the club will be absolutely rapt with the news, with an upgrade being on the agenda for a long time.
“Over the years they have been subject to a lot of subsiding and this will give us the opportunity to dig them up and re-lay them, and also have them meet standards,” she said.
“At the moment we don’t actually meet Netball Australia Standards as far as clear space around the courts go – our fences are too close to the end of the court.”
Mrs Songer said the upgrade will lead to a realm of opportunities for the club, including putting it in a better position to host final games for the Barossa, Light & Gawler association.
“With state of the art courts we will be in a better position to host finals, and anything Netball Australia wanted to do on our courts,” she said.
“Up until now we have never applied to because they are cracked and not exactly level, and not to a standard some of the other local courts are.”
Also announced yesterday, Trinity College has received $800,000 to install a new synthetic multi-purpose hockey and tennis surface.
Gawler Council will also receive $75,000 to resurface the main stadium floor at Nixon Terrace’s Gawler Sport and Community Centre.
Mr Bignell said the grant program is designed to increase the number of South Australians who play sport once a week, leading to healthier, more active communities.
“Grassroots sport is so important for local communities, helping both kids and adults to stay fit and healthy, while providing a training ground for future super-star athletes,” he said.
“These sporting clubs are at the heart of South Australia’s suburbs and regional areas, but it can be difficult to raise money for upgrades of any kind, let alone major projects like building synthetic pitches or upgrading change rooms.
“Through these grant programs the State Government is helping clubs to improve their facilities, which will, in turn, increase participation rates and create healthier communities.”

Ellouise Crawford


Ellouise Crawford joined The Bunyip in April, 2010, while completing a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of South Australia. Ellouise wrote The Bunyip’s Playford Times before joining the editorial team full-time in late-2011. She now covers the Light Regional Council region and enjoys writing about Gawler’s strong heritage, as well as its many passionate and inspirational residents. Ellouise grew up in Gawler and now lives in Wasleys with her family.

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