Sporting clubs light up thanks to funding boost
IT will be a case of “game on” day or night for eight sporting clubs across Greater Geelong who have secured funding for upgraded lighting.
A total of $2.03 million was allocated by the City of Greater Geelong council after funding was secured through the Victorian Government’s Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) Community Sport Stimulus Infrastructure Program.
The new lights will enable the clubs to extend playing and training times, as well as supporting them to cater for significant growth, particularly in sports programs for women and children.
The local clubs set to benefit from upgrades are:
- Burdoo Reserve, Grovedale
- Evans Reserve, Norlane
- Osborne Reserve, North Geelong
- St Albans Reserve, Thomson
- St Leonards Reserve, St Leonards
- Winter Reserve, Belmont
- Portarlington Reserve, Portarlington, and
- Queens Park, Highton.
New lights have already been installed at Grinter Reserve in Newcomb through the SRV program.
Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said the reserves were selected after being identified as needing upgraded lighting for improved training and game availability.
“The new lights will make a big difference in being able to safely train and exercise during the cooler months of the year,” Cr Asher said.
“These upgrades will provide a welcome boost to these clubs which have had interrupted seasons during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Councillor Ron Nelson, chair of the Sport portfolio, said the new lights would improve the community’s options for sport and recreation activity.
“Council was thrilled to fund the Queen’s Park lighting project in last year’s budget ($550,000) and appreciates the funding from the Victorian and Australian governments to get this project off the ground,” Cr Nelson said.
Belmont Lions vice president Craig Edwards was one of many sporting club members who was relieved to hear of the council’s decision to allocate funds to Geelong’s grassroots football teams.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Edwards said.
“The lights we have now are not great, but once the new lights are up and running it will be suitable for our Auskick and Junior programs, and hopefully it will be up to scratch for senior play.”
Tyrrell Hill, the Lions’ head of sponsorships/projects, has been at the forefront of the upgrade initiative since late-2020, with the Lions Football Club have been working closely alongside the East Belmont Cricket Club.
“As a club we are absolutely delighted,” Hill said. “It is important for the club that we push for things that the community needs, and it is great to be a part of something that is larger than just us.”
He said the project would deliver an incredibly positive boost to the local community to help attract new participants and bolster long-term sustainability.
Power Street Electrics was awarded the contract to oversee the lighting upgrade, with work expected to start early next month following consultation with SRV and representatives from clubs at each reserve during the project design phase.
– WITH KYLIE OLIVER