Tue. May 28th, 2024

A number of grants have been announced that will see everything from new lights to new toilets installed at sporting facilities across the region.

Armidale Tennis Club has secured a $47,475 NSW Community Building Partnership grant provided to install LED lighting over four of the club’s hardcourts, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced today.

Armidale Tennis Club Secretary Ann Gibbs said the light upgrades were continuing to attract new players and increase the type of competition on offer.

“We’ve been able to offer competitions three nights a week now and that has increased our membership,” Mrs Gibbs said.

“We’ve had a tennis coach who has been running squad training for our junior players and having more lights on more courts will make the world of difference to the hours that can be spent coaching and playing fixtures.

Mr Marshall also recently announced $27,000 for the Sapphire City Gymnastics Club in Inverell to replace their trampolines under the same grant program.

Mr Marshall said that for the past decade the gymnastics club had predominately focused on the use of trampolines, equipment which was now well past its safe and useful life.

“When the club first approached me about securing some assistance to purchase some new trampolines, I was amazed by the amount of use and condition of the current equipment,” Mr Marshall said.

Sapphire City Gymnastic Club coach Debi Hankins said the new trampoline would make training and competing a lot safer for members and would see the sport strengthen in the community

“Our membership numbers have been increasing since the re-opening of the gym after COVID and by providing this new piece of safe equipment, we’re hoping this will encourage more people to take up the sport,” Mrs Hankins said.

“I am gobsmacked and extremely excited to be given this opportunity and am positive that every member of our club will benefit from this addition to our equipment.”

The Moree Race Club will demolish and rebuild their 50 year old ammenities block with a grant of $229,101 to do the desperately needed work.

Moree Race Club President Rob Mather welcomed the funding and said the club couldn’t wait to get on with the project.

“The old toilet block has been a long-running issue for our club and it’s great that we now have the funds to remove it and build something better for our patrons,” Mr Mather said.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has also been able to announce some grants for sporting clubs, including $269,424 for West Tamworth Sports and Bowling Club to replace their umber 2 green with a new synthetic surface which is low maintenance and requires no watering.

“The recent drought was very tough on our bowling clubs who struggled to keep their water-thirsty greens alive in the face of level 5 water restrictions,” Mr Anderson said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said in the past five years the Stronger Country Communities Fund had delivered more than 2000 grassroots projects, benefitting every Local Government Area in regional NSW.

“We all know how important it is for communities to have great places to come together to build social connections and boost their wellbeing through sport or community events,” Mr Toole said. 

Top image: Adam Marshall with members of the Armidale Tennis Club

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