Lara FNC ready to embrace the bright lights

January 3, 2022 BY

Jason Van Doren (football committee), Cr Kylie Grzybek, Chris Spence (chairperson football), Brett Richie (Lara Sporting Club board member), Cr Anthony Aitken and Carol Stone (Lara Sporting Club secretary). Photo: SUPPLIED

SPORTS have taken a big next step in the town of Lara following the completion of a $350,000 lighting upgrade at the town’s biggest sports venue.

The latest sports upgrade facilitated by the City of Greater Geelong will now allow football and netball sides to train in proper conditions at Lara Recreational Reserve.

The reserve’s upgrade saw its lights replaced with a LED 150 lux lighting system as a part of the 2019-20 Community Infrastructure Grants program.

It also brings the reserve’s training capacity up to that of the AFL’s training and participation standards, improving the overall safety of not only the players on the ground, but also the spectators in attendance.

Growing participation numbers in sports across the reserve have gradually increased the need for better training facilities according to Windermere Councillor Kylie Grzybek.

“Lara Football and Netball Club’s facilities are in high demand, with more male and female senior, junior and Auskick participants wanting to play football every year,” Cr Grzybek said.

“The upgrade means the club can train on its own grounds at night, opening up opportunities for more players to be involved at different times.

“Our local sporting clubs are the heart and soul of our communities. These clubs are about more than sport – they help people connect and combat social isolation.

“It’s great news as the club welcomes back players after an interrupted season due to COVID-19.”

It is common knowledge that Lara’s size in population is growing at a rapid pace at one of the highest rates in the region of greater Geelong, with a population of around 16,000 as of 2021. It is forecast to grow to 24,551 by 2041.

Other Windermere Ward councillor Anthony Aitkin recognises this trend and says now is the time to make sure proper investments to handle the future growth of the town, particularly in sports.

“Investing in community sport in Lara means even more people will be able to take marks and kick goals,” Cr Aitken said.

“Delivering better lighting means the club can cater to the growing number of people that want to train and play football at night.

“It’s so exciting that restrictions have lifted, and our footy teams, Auskickers, cricketers and netballers can get back out on the field in all conditions.”

The completion of the football and netball lights coincides with the earlier announcement Lara United, the reserve’s soccer club, has also completed its own lighting structure which will allow it to train at its own home ground for the first time in the club’s history.

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