Stadium study to start soon
A SCOPING and feasibility study for new basketball facilities at Corio’s Beckley Park for the Lara Giants Basketball Club is set to start soon.
The Giants have been campaigning for “a home” for years before gaining the support of the Beckley Park committee of management who offered to lease a piece of land within the park which was large enough for new courts and facilities, and room for the club to grow.
With the public support of Greater Geelong’s Windermere councillors Kylie Grzybek and Anthony Aitken, the project to investigate building a three-court basketball stadium at Beckley Park made it into the 2021-22 council budget.
A $50,000 allocation will cover the cost of the court scoping and feasibility study, which will be led by the Giants, in partnership with the council, and aims to pave the way to attract funding to build the stadium in the future.
During their campaigning for council support, the Giants said in an open letter, it was one of the largest basketball clubs in the Geelong region and was continuing to grow.
However despite basketball being one of the most popular sports in Lara, the club has no home base and has had to hire gymnasiums across three Lara schools to host various competitions, including an all-abilities program and female-only sessions.
“We have a strong dedicated committee of 15 who are currently storing the club’s memorabilia, flags and pennants, photos and memories in boxes, along with our uniforms and merchandise in their homes,” the Giants explained.
If the study leads to the club and council securing funding to build a tournament-standard, three-court stadium, the club will have a training facility and could look at opportunities to expand its program to include ball skills for kindergarten-aged children and wheelchair basketball.
The Giants hope the stadium will also include a cafe, uniform and merchandise shop, and space for meetings and a first-aid room, in addition to the three courts.