Three local sports fields will soon have floodlights installed or upgraded to improve lighting and allow night-time training and competitions for local rugby league, soccer, cricket and AFL clubs.
The $1.62 million project to light up sports fields at Verge and Eden streets, Jim Stirling Oval and South West Rocks sports complex is funded by the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF) and ClubGRANTS program, with contributions from Kempsey Shire Council, Football NSW and AFL NSW/ACT.
Under the project, four 25m lighting towers will be installed on Jim Stirling Oval to enable night training and games for AFL and cricket, while lighting will be upgraded at the Verge/Eden Street complex and South West Rocks playing fields for soccer, rugby league, AFL and cricket.
Council’s Director Operations and Planning, Robert Fish, said the lighting upgrades would benefit hundreds of local sports field users.
“The new lighting will increase the hours that various local sports clubs can use these facilities to train and play, in line with Council’s focus on expanding the use of its existing fields across the Macleay,” Mr Fish said.
Ronda Colliver from Macleay Valley Eagles AFL Club said the lighting upgrade for Jim Stirling Oval would allow teams to train in the evening.
“We are hoping to play a male senior side next year, and maybe a female team, and this will allow everyone to train on the same night,” she said.
Macleay Valley Cricket Club President, Ben Paix, said the new lighting would potentially facilitate a twilight competition and training under lights for teams.
“As a part of the bigger Verge and Eden Street Sports Complex Masterplan project, we think it’s a positive for sport in the Macleay, more widely than just cricket,” he said.
Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey congratulated Kempsey Shire Council for delivering the Macleay sports fields floodlights for the community.
“This is a fantastic result for the people of the Kempsey Shire and a great example of the NSW Government partnering with local groups to support and fund a much-needed upgrade to an important facility,” Ms Pavey said.
“The new lighting will enable more sporting groups to use the Macleay sports fields, more often and in turn, this will grow the sports fields’ reputation as a key sporting venue in Kempsey and surrounds.
“The Stronger Country Communities Fund was created to deliver infrastructure that improves the lives of local residents and these light towers are just one of the hundreds of projects being built and delivered across regional NSW.”
Installation of the floodlights is currently underway and is scheduled for completion in late October.