Club up and run­ning

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Bar­bara Lynch bar­bara. lynch@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

IT’S a hard slog for the Her­bert River Ath­letic Club each year when the wet sea­son rolls around.

Cy­clone Yasi’s de­struc­tion added to the prob­lems the Ing­ham club al­ready had with grounds, run­ning tracks and jump­ing pits.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing one of the Yasi Sport Grants through a com­bined $ 250,000 ef­fort be­tween the Townsville Bul­letin, The Cairns Post, In­n­is­fail Ad­vo­cate and Her­bert River Ex­press, the club is on its way to re­cov­ery.

Trea­surer Natar­lee Poppi said the con­stant rain had also halted the clean up.

‘‘ We’ve got a beau­ti­ful park area with trees and when Ing­ham floods, wa­ter passes through the track and dis­cus area. The jump­ing pit needs more sand be­cause it gets washed away,’’ Mr Poppi said.

The club grounds are still too wet and work needs to be done on their track and fa­cil­i­ties cleaned and de­bris dis­posed of.

The club caters for mainly pri­mary school stu­dents and if the grounds weren’t fixed af­ter the Easter school hol­i­days, car­ni­vals could be in jeop­ardy.

‘‘ It’s a beau­ti­ful area when it’s not wet and I don’t know how we’ll get it ready in time for the ath­let­ics car­ni­vals,’’ Mrs Poppi said.

Three club mem­bers spent Christ­mas Day mov­ing ev­ery­thing out of the can­teen to the trac­tor shed so it wouldn’t get wet. This is usu­ally done on an an­nual ba­sis dur­ing wet sea­son.

Mrs Poppi said the club’s g r a n t m o n e y w o u l d g o to­wards the re­pair to jump pits which went un­der wa­ter dur­ing the floods and Cy­clone Y a s i . S a n d n e e d s t o b e re­placed and new t i mber boards in­stalled. Two pits which ser­vice long jump and triple jump need two boards each.

High jump mats were stored away from the grounds but sus­tained dam­age as a re­sult of the cy­clone and they too needed to be re­placed.

‘‘ It’s very dis­heart­en­ing at the be­gin­ning of the year and we try to get the chil­dren out there on the track as soon as we can but we can’t al­ways of­fer them the use of all the fa­cil­i­ties,’’ Mrs Poppi said.

Hinch­in­brook Shire Coun­cil had hinted of re­lo­cat­ing the club to Ing­ham Show­grounds but this would cause many prob­lems, she said.

‘‘ We don’t re­ally want to move be­cause there are too many events there like the show and car club meets . . . we wouldn’t al­ways have use of the grounds.

‘‘ We’d have to mark the track and we wouldn’t be guar­an­teed our nor­mal train­ing times,’’ she said.

M r s P o p p i s a i d s o m e par­ents had driven t heir chil­dren to Townsville to train while their track wasn’t open.

Her­bert River Ath­letic Club is hold­ing a sign on day to­day from 9am-noon at Ing­ham McDon­ald’s.

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