THE Member for Bass, Jordan Crugnale officially opened two new netball courts at Bass Recreation Reserve last Saturday, April 13, made possible by a $100,000 grant from the State Government’s Country Football and Netball Program and $470,000 from the Bass Coast Shire.
Joining her for the opening between netball and football matches was Bass Coast Shire Councillor Bruce Kent.
He as good as announced that the footy ground would be getting a brand-new set of state-of-the-art lights.
Home of the Kilcunda Bass Football and Netball Club, the redevelopment of the reserve has been held back by the fact that there was one asphalt netball court, according to Ms Crugnale, not enough to meet Netball Victoria standards or the criteria for hosting finals.
The facility also fell short of others in the West Gippsland FNC.
The existing court has been upgraded and a new netball court has been built. Both courts now have two-tone, blue acrylic surfaces, there’s fencing, spectator shelters, and 200-lux competition standard lighting.
And according to the club’s project manager, John Shaw, a new 16 metre shelter is to be completed soon.
These upgrades will significantly increase the training, playing and competition opportunities for the Panthers and for the whole Waterline community, Mr Crugnale said.
The Country Football and Netball Program replaces and upgrades ageing facilities for football and netball clubs across rural, regional and outer metropolitan Victoria so they can meet the growing demand especially female participation.
Speaking at the opening, Ms Crugnale said she was delighted to see the work complete.
“We saw the shire’s commitment and the club’s involvement and wanted to chip in to get the project over the line,” Ms Crugnale said of the announcement with her colleague Harriet Shing at the venue 12 months earlier.
The Country Football and Netball Program has invested more than $26.6 million in more than 480 projects across the state since 2006.
“Regional clubs including those here in Bass are the starting point for our next generations of sporting champions and they deserve modern and safe facilities they can be proud of.
“I’m sure the Panthers’ players and administrators will welcome the new courts, which provide greater flexibility for the club to schedule practise and competition, to welcome new members and also to host finals.”
Cr Bruce Kent and the Kilcunda-Bass FNC President Brent Wallace also spoke at the opening, watched by the club’s netballers and footballers.
Cr Kent said the shire was extremely impressed with the standard of application prepared by the club and the quality of the business plan, so much so that they have recommended it to other clubs as the benchmark when applying for shire and state government grants.
He also promised more funding for competition standard lights for the footy ground.
Mr Wallace said Killy-Bass had contributed $27,000 plus in-kind support to get the project finished and agreed it was an aim of the club to host finals, possibly even the West Gippsland grand final in the future.
“The surface of the ground is the equal of any in Gippland at the moment. Now we have the netball courts as well.”
He paid tribute to the club’s committee and anyone else who had helped, singling out Emily Mock and ‘Skeeta’ Brown as some of those who’d played key roles.
Other sporting fixtures are planned for the new courts.
$1/2 million new netball courts opened at Bass