On track to host star ath­letes

Sports park gets facelift

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

THE Townsville Sports Re­serve could host na­tional ath­letic teams from all over the world lead­ing up to the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games, af­ter the fa­cil­ity un­der­went a $ 700,000 makeover.

The age­ing track and field sur­faces have now been ren­o­vated to en­sure the sports re­serve main­tained its in­ter­na­tional stan­dard, with fund­ing com­ing from the State Gov­ern­ment.

The $ 700,000 up­grade came in un­der bud­get with the orig­i­nal al­lo­ca­tion com­mit­ting up to $ 1.2 mil­lion.

Min­is­ter As­sist­ing the Premier on North Queens­land, Co­ralee O’Rourke, and Townsville state La­bor MP Scott Stewart made the an-

It’s great to see we are giv­ing more op­por­tu­ni­ties to peo­ple far and

wide

CO­RALEE O’ROURKE

nounce­ment while at the Chal­lenge Games, a unique sports event that fo­cuses on pro­vid­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents with a dis­abil­ity.

“Part of the track up­grade will also al­low coun­tries to train here prior to the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games,” Mr Stewart said.

“That will mean we get high cal­i­bre ath­letes com­ing here us­ing our in­ter­na­tional stan­dard fa­cil­ity, and then what we want to do is en­cour­age those ath­letes to work with our stu­dents and ath­letes here to build their ca­pac­ity as well.”

Mrs O’Rourke said the 14year- old track needed to be up­graded for events such as the Chal­lenge Games.

“The two- day Chal­lenge Games gives op­por­tu­ni­ties to kids with a dis­abil­ity to com­pete and par­tic­i­pate in a re­ally fun en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

“It’s very close to my heart, par­tic­u­larly as Min­is­ter for Dis­abil­i­ties and to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they re­ceive an award, and to share that with their school is re­ally heart- warm­ing.

“The gov­ern­ment has rein­vested $ 700,00 into the track, and af­ter 14 years it well and truly needed a facelift.

“It’s great to see we are giv­ing more op­por­tu­ni­ties to peo­ple far and wide.”

About 15 events have been held on the new track since the up­grade in mid- July.

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