Local sporting clubs receive grants for upgrades

IN THE KITTY: Willunga Bowling Club President David Petchel is excited to see the club receive $36,000 from the grants program to improving its greens. Photo: Harrison Schultz.

IN THE KITTY: Willunga Bowling Club President David Petchel is excited to see the club receive $36,000 from the grants program to improving its greens. Photo: Harrison Schultz.

Three local sporting clubs will share in more than $300,000 in funding for much-needed upgrades to their facilities.

This follows an announcement by Member for Mawson Leon Bignell that $10.7 million would be dispersed among sporting clubs in South Australia.

The City of Onkaparinga will receive $150,000 for a new multi-purpose sprung floor at the Seaford Recreation Centre.

The Christies Beach Bowling Club will receive $70,000 for the replacement of a synthetic green and the Willunga Bowling Club will get $36,000 to also replace the synthetic surface on the 'A' green.

For the Willunga Bowling Club it is a chance to rectify wrongs of the past.

Club President David Petchel said in 2015 it became evident that the green was deteriorating.

“The base was deteriorating because of poor workmanship and the company who done the original work for us went into receivership, so we didn’t have any warranty at all,” he said.

The opportunity for the club to receive the grant came about during a ‘meet the people’ event at Aldinga shopping centre with Labor’s Member for Mawson and Minister for Sport and Recreation Leon Bignell. 

After explaining their situation and receiving a visit from the Office of Sport and Recreation, the club was lucky enough to receive the well-deserved grant.

Despite the significant amount given, the $36,000 will only cover half of the required funding and the other half has come from the members own pockets and refinancing a loan.

“We hope that A-green, given six-months to a year will be equal (to the high standard of of B-green) because you have to stretch them out,” Mr Petchel said.

When the pitch is finally ready and at peak quality, it will enable the club to enjoy greater numbers of games and hopefully incur less incidents which render pitches unplayable.

“Artificial pitches are less dependent on weather conditions and wear and tear, meaning more games can be played each week and allowing clubs to cater to growing demand,” Mr Bignell said.

Mr Bignell said the funding would help these clubs to improve their facilities and in turn increase participation rates and create healthier community.

“These sporting clubs are at the heart of South Australia’s suburbs and regional areas, but it can be difficult to raise money for upgrades of any kind, let alone major projects like building synthetic pitches or upgrading change-rooms,” he said. 

These sporting clubs are at the heart of South Australia’s suburbs and regional areas

Leon Bignell