Look who’s kick­ing goals

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY SHANE DOUTHIE sd­outhie@ ne­me­dia.com.au

IT was all smiles on Thurs­day when Ja­clyn Symes (MLC, North­ern Vic­to­ria) an­nounced more than $1.1 mil­lion in fund­ing for three ma­jor sport­ing in­fra­struc­ture projects in Wan­garatta.

Ms Symes, an­nounced $596,327 in fund­ing to­wards the Mitchell Av­enue Re­cre­ation Re­serve, WJ Findlay Oval, and South Wan­garatta Re­serve, which will be de­liv­ered and partly funded by the Ru­ral City of Wan­garatta coun­cil.

Mayor Ken Clarke wel­com­ing the an­nounce­ment at the South Wan­garatta Re­serve said he was al­ways happy to see Ms Symes visit Wan­garatta.

“You’re al­ways bring­ing good news,” Cr Clarke said.

“Six years ago the State Gov­ern­ment seemed to look at our grant ap­pli­ca­tions and put a line through them.

“Un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tors we re­ceived vir­tu­ally no grants but I did a quick cal­cu­la­tion and since the coun­cil­lors have re­turned I es­ti­mate we’ve re­ceived about $8.4 mil­lion.”

Ms Symes se­cured the fund­ing through the An­drews La­bor Gov­ern­ment’s Com­mu­nity Sports and In­fra­struc­ture Fund and the World Game Fa­cil­i­ties Fund.

Mitchell Av­enue Re­serve Re­cre­ation Precinct Stage 1 project will see the con­struc­tion of a chil­dren’s gar­den, park­our equip­ment, and a skate friendly path­way link­ing the ex­ist­ing splash park and play­ground as well as the fu­ture BMX pump track.

WJ Findlay Oval will see the in­stal­la­tion of sports field light­ing to 200 lux in­clud­ing an up­grade of power sup­ply, boost­ing train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the Wan­garatta Rov- ers Foot­ball Net­ball Club and other user groups.

Wan­garatta City Foot­ball Club will fi­nally be able to ditch hir­ing por­ta­ble light­ing with the in­stal­la­tion of 100 lux LED light­ing at its home grown – South Wan­garatta Re­serve.

“These are three ex­cit­ing projects that the com­mu­nity and sport­ing clubs should be very proud of,” Ms Symes said.

“Recre­ational in­fra­struc­ture pro- jects are vi­tal for the Wan­garatta com­mu­nity, ex­pand­ing so­cial and recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties both day and night.

“It’s an­other great ex­am­ple of the La­bor Gov­ern­ment work­ing to­gether with coun­cil and our lo­cal sport­ing clubs, mak­ing sport and re­cre­ation more ac­ces­si­ble, wel­com­ing and in­clu­sive.

“We have seen an ex­plo­sion in foot­ball/soc­cer par­tic­i­pa­tion and I am very pleased that to­gether we are de­liv­er­ing for the Wan­garatta City Foot­ball Club who will be able to ditch hir­ing lights so teams can train at night.

“Sports clubs are the lifeblood of our com­mu­ni­ties and they de­serve mod­ern, ac­ces­si­ble and safe fa­cil­i­ties – the La­bor Gov­ern­ment is de­liv­er­ing those fa­cil­i­ties through its Com­mu­nity Sports In­fra­struc­ture Fund and World Game Fa­cil­i­ties Fund.”

“It’s part of La­bor’s com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing sports and ac­tive re­cre­ation and en­cour­ag­ing all Vic­to­ri­ans to get out there and get ac­tive.”

Wan­garatta City Soc­cer Club pres­i­dent Wally Pasquali said the lights would make a ma­jor im­pact to the train­ing fa­cil­i­ties and pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties across the board, from the mini-roos ju­nior de­vel­op­ment to the se­nior men’s and women’s soc­cer teams.

“We’re just a step­ping stone for all those kids who want to be in­volved at the elite level; we want to see the next Se­bas­tian Pasquali come out of the Wan­garatta City Soc­cer Club.”

He also praised for­mer pres­i­dent Dean Cam­pagna and the com­mit­tee for their tire­less ef­forts im­prov­ing the club and ap­ply­ing for grants.

“Dean and the com­mit­tee have built this club to what it is to­day and they were in­te­gral in se­cur­ing this fund­ing.”

The new lights will also save the club thou­sands of dol­lars a year to hire por­ta­ble lights.

An­drew Smith, Wan­garatta Rovers Foot­ball and Net­ball Club pres­i­dent said the lights would make a dra­matic im­prove­ment to the en­tire Barr Re­serve sport­ing precinct.

“It’s not just for Rovers, there are mul­ti­ple user groups who will ben­e­fit in­clud­ing ju­nior foot­ball clubs and the women’s AFL team,” Mr Smith said.

“Peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions of what sports light­ing should be have grown and this has been on our wish-list for some time.”

Coun­cil’s projects and re­cre­ation co­or­di­na­tor Brad McGill said the Mitchell Av­enue stage one de­vel­op­ment re­flected the com­mu­nity’s wishes fol­low­ing the re­lease of the mas­ter­plan.

“This was one of the higher pri­or­i­ties for the com­mu­nity and the fund­ing will let us roll out stage one next fi­nan­cial year,” he said.

PHOTO: Mel; Guy

GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL! Wally Pasquali (Wan­garatta City Soc­cer Club pres­i­dent), Ja­clyn Symes (MLC, North­ern Vic­to­ria) and An­drew Smith (Wan­garatta Rovers Foot­ball Net­ball Club pres­i­dent) cel­e­brate the fund­ing an­nounce­ment on Thurs­day with a game of soc­cer.

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