Ma­jor sport­ing up­grades

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Ararat is set to ben­e­fit from a ma­jor State Gov­ern­ment com­mit­ment to help the ru­ral city pro­mote its com­mu­nity ‘get ac­tive, stay healthy’ pro­mo­tional push.

The gov­ern­ment has an­nounced $750,000 for ma­jor recre­ation projects in the city.

Sports Min­is­ter John Eren vis­ited Ararat to an­nounce $250,000 for the sec­ond stage of Ararat Ac­tive Link at Bill Water­ston Skate Park and $500,000 to de­velop two new net­ball courts, fe­male clu­b­rooms and an in­door fe­male recre­ation hub at Alexan­dra Oval.

Money for the skate park will come from the gov­ern­ment’s Com­mu­nity Sports In­fra­struc­ture fund and the other projects will ben­e­fit from a Fe­male Friendly Fa­cil­i­ties Fund.

Ac­tive Link, a new out­door recre­ation hub near Alexan­dra Gar­dens, will in­clude a mul­ti­pur­pose sports court, a 300-me­tre multi-use path, in­clud­ing a builtin cy­cling loop, and a three-me­tre boul­der­ing wall de­signed in con­sul­ta­tion with Sport Climb­ing Vic­to­ria.

It will pro­vide a base for peo­ple to test their skills in a range of recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties and act as an in­cen­tive for Ararat fam­i­lies and visi­tors to be­come more ac­tive.

The Bill Water­ston Skate Park, pro­vid­ing the back­bone to Ararat Ac­tive Link, is quickly build­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as one of the premier skatepark venues in west- ern Vic­to­ria. At Alexan­dra Oval, more than 150 fe­male mem­bers of Ararat and Ararat Ea­gles foot­ball-net­ball clubs and other users are set to ben­e­fit from the new net­ball courts.

The project in­volves shift­ing the courts from the north­ern fringe of the re­serve to a cen­tral hub be­hind a com­mu­nity pav­il­ion.

The Alexan­dra Oval project will also in­clude light­ing and new clu­b­rooms, com­plete with an in­door recre­ation space in­clud­ing a gym­na­sium.

Ararat A Grade net­ball coach Donna Spald­ing said she was de­lighted with the news, which she pre­vi­ously had be­lieved ‘would never come’.

“I’ve been at the club for 40 years and I didn’t think it would hap­pen in my time. I have al­ways called net­ball the poor re­la­tions in week­end sport – for a lot of rea­sons – but to have some­thing as valu­able as this hap­pen is re­ally quite re­ward­ing,” she said.

“Im­por­tantly, the de­vel­op­ment will bring us closer to peo­ple and foot­ball at the re­serve and rein­vig­o­rate our sense of be­long­ing.”

Net­ball courts teams have played on for about the past five years, apart from be­ing a con­sid­er­able dis­tance from change rooms, can­teens and a com­mu­nity pav­il­ion, are also de­te­ri­o­rat­ing.

“The de­vel­op­ment is go­ing to pro­vide not only bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties for us, but also our guests and help gen­er­ate a much bet­ter sport­ing at­mos­phere. This will be great for build­ing con­fi­dence in fe­males who will have a lot more pride in where they play,” Mrs Spald­ing said.

Mr Eren said parks and sports venues were the heart of com­mu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially in re­gional cen­tres such as Ararat.

“We’re en­sur­ing our commu- ni­ties stay healthy by giv­ing re­gional Vic­to­ri­ans the fa­cil­i­ties they need to en­joy the sports and ac­tiv­i­ties that they love,” he said.

Mr Eren also thanked project part­ner Ararat Ru­ral City Coun­cil for its fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion of $596,222 for both projects.

PROJECT CON­TIN­UES: From left, Taj Studd, Jake Tay­lor and Ethan Ed­wards at the new Ararat Bill Water­ston Skate Park.Pic­ture: PAUL CAR­RACHER

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.