First match played on Bungaree Oval

April 19, 2024 BY

Working together: Federal and local politicians, Community Bank Ballan and District representatives and members of the Bungaree Football Netball Club were at the Bungaree Oval last Saturday for its official opening. Photo: MIRIAM LITWIN

THE first round of the Central Highlands Football League saw the official opening of the new Bungaree Oval.

The first match played on the surface saw the Bungaree seniors take out the win against Hepburn, and local politicians as well as Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Catherine King, were in attendance.

The upgrade was made possible with $200,000 for the Federal Government, $470,000 from Moorabool Shire and $130,000 from Community Bank Ballan and District.

Heath Boyd, president of Bungaree Football Netball Club, said the previous condition of the oval was having an effect on the club.

“Last year it got to a point where it was effecting recruiting, we still had the best facilities in the league, but we had one of the worst grounds, so it was effecting getting players out of Ballarat or from Melbourne,” he said.

“It even started to be costly because of laundering jumpers and having to clean the facility down.”

Mr Boyd said he is already seeing the positive effects of the new oval.

“It’s been a long burn but the local people who have been involved have been amazing,” he said.

“We’ve recruited players on the back of them knowing that the ground will be updated and it’s nice to see the big crowd here today.

“It is a massive thing for the community, and this isn’t just a football club, it’s a community centre as well.”

Director of the Community Bank Ballan and District, Barry Sims, said it is important for the organisation to support initiatives like this.

“We’re a community bank so we want to support the whole area,” he said.

“This is just the start for us, we would like to see every club in the area with a ground just like this.”