THE new Barclay Field at Morgan Park could be the venue for state championships in the future, according to Model Aeronautical Association of Australia president Neil Tank.
The Adelaide-based president spoke at the opening ceremony for the new Warwick Aero Modellers club facilities at Morgan Park which have been developed by the club in the past 15 months.
"Aero modelling clubs are for the young and old, there was a competition at the Adelaide Show and it was won by a 13 year old,” Tank said.
"I recall when my own son went to his first aero modelling day and was deep in conversation with an 88 year old.
"It will be possible to have state championships at Morgan Park. Aero modelling is a great sport and a great hobby but we must always remember we are doing it for the fun and the company of others.”
The field was named in recognition of the work of club members Greg and Merry Barclay.
"Greg and Merry have put so much into the field and club,” club president Dennis Mooney said.
"This is the biggest day for the club so far. We had 16 sponsors who supported our raffle.”
Greg Barclay said the club had been approached by schools about showing students how to build model planes and repair drones.
"I am keen for our club to move into teaching,” he said.
The Southern Downs Regional Council leased the club the land at Morgan Park and Cr Neil Meiklejohn was given the honours to open the facility.
He paid tribute to the club for developing a great facility and also mentioned the volunteers who had worked hard to develop the sporting facilities at Morgan Park starting with the Morgan family who donated the land 100 years ago.
Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg vowed to work with the club to press the State Government to recognise aero modelling as a sport.
"I don't think you would find a better sporting precinct anything in Queensland than Morgan Park,” he said.
The club received a grant of $28,000 from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund and with donations from its state and federal bodies and a lot of volunteer work, the Warwick Aero Modellers have developed a flying field, airstrip, pilot's box and machinery shed, which is now doubling as a clubhouse. Future plans include a clubhouse, catering facilities and pit area.
During the hour-long opening ceremony, there were many references to racing drones becoming more a part of the sport and the club's activities in the years to come.
Flying was also part of the program yesterday with one former Australian champion showing plenty of skill with the first model plane launched after the opening.