Future secured for our young netballers
NETBALL: The Warwick Netball Association plans to return home to Barnes Park by the end of April after receiving Federal Government funding of $318,893 for four new courts.
The announcement of the Federal Government funding was made by Member for Maranoa David Littleproud on Saturday at junior netball at the Scots PGC College.
Association secretary Linda Bunch said the association started its new junior season at the Scots PGC courts, as two of the five hard courts at association headquarters, Barnes Park, were unsafe to use.
"We also realised the new work would not be done before the start of the junior season,” Bunch said.
The association has applied for multiple sources of funding to maximise its possibilities for new flexi-pave hard courts and ended up with two grants.
"The State Government allocated $150,000 for two courts through a Get Playing Places and Spaces grant and on Saturday news of the Federal grant came through,” she said.
The cost of four new courts was $350,000 and Bunch said the association would go back to the two levels of governments to discuss the funding.
"We hope we can keep both lots of funding and replace two of our three existing grass court,” she said.
"It is an excitement overload, goose bumps on the arms, the dumbstruck 'oh my god, how can this be?', amazing feeling,” Ms Bunch said.
There is $318,893 to upgrade four courts under the Community Sport Infrastructure Grants program and $2900 for an upgrade to canteen equipment under the Stronger Communities Program.
"Yes it's a huge amount of money to spend now, but it's going to give us facilities that will service so many kids for so long,” Bunch said.
Mr Littleproud said when he heard the association couldn't play at home because their courts were in such a poor condition, he knew he had to do something,” Mr Littleproud said.
"Our very own netball legend Laura Geitz honed her skills at home here and this upgrade means future netballers will continue to play this great sport in the Southern Downs well into the future.
"You can ask any rural community in Maranoa and they will tell you how important top-notch sports facilities are.
"Besides enhancing that community spirit, everyone needs to exercise and keep fit.
"Sport, netball in this case, acts as an enabler for these positive outcomes,” he said.
Ten flexi-pave and grass courts are needed to host the annual inter-district carnival.