New netball, tennis centre

August 03, 2017

Blighty Recreation Reserve’s outdated netball and tennis clubrooms will be replaced, hopefully in the next 12 months.

The purpose built facility will be funded by a $550,000 grant under the Edward River Council Stronger Communities Major Projects Program.

Blighty Football Netball Club president Andy Lostroh said it will enable a long-held dream to provide modern facilities for other users of the recreation reserve to be realised.

‘‘It is something the community has been working on for some time, I think initially flagged with council 18 months ago,’’ Mr Lostroh said.

‘‘We had originally thought we might apply for a smaller grant in the $1 million Stronger Communities community projects stream, and do the project in stages, but Edward River Council encouraged us to apply for the larger grant instead.

‘‘We had made some previous attempts to draw up some concept plans, but we’ll meet with council in August and discuss the project and proposed timelines in more detail.

‘‘Pending agreement from all users and necessary approvals, we hope we might be able to get the facilities completed before the start of the netball season next year.’’

Mr Lostroh said the current facilities are inadequate, and were particularly lacking following the upgrades to the clubrooms next to the football oval.

He said the old brick building adjacent the netball courts and playground at the rear of the recreation reserve would be replaced, and designed to complement the existing facilities.

‘‘What we have now just doesn’t suit our requirements — there are only two showers available in the rooms,’’ Mr Lostroh said.

‘‘And our junior tennis program on Saturdays (during warmer months) has received a real boost with about 60 children attending.

‘‘The old building was constructed in stages, so some areas are a lot older than the others.

‘‘The new building will include changerooms, an office and umpire facilities.

‘‘We plan for the new facility to also include a meeting room on the southern end, which will have glass panel windows to allow those inside to watch the football and netball.

‘‘This will be suitable for events that do not require the area in our large hall.’’

Mr Lostroh said the other benefit of the capital investment is that it should reduce ongoing maintenance costs.

‘‘This is an upgrade that will see us into the future,’’ Mr Lostroh said.

‘‘It will mean we will have one of the best facilities around, and one that will require little maintenance, hopefully, for the next 30 years.

‘‘It will also ensure we have a pleasant environment for people to enjoy.

‘‘As a community organisation, this is not something we could afford to do on our on, and we thank Edward River Council for this opportunity.’’

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