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City of Newcastle kicking sporting goals with strategic plan


New artificial turf wickets in Stockton and the region’s first 18-hole disc golf course are in the pipeline for City of Newcastle (CN) in 2024.

While council’s already invested in excess of $20 million into upgrading and expanding sporting facilities over the past three years, there’s still plenty more to do.

That was highlighted at the recent third annual Sports Summit, which saw representatives from codes across the city updated on the progress of CN’s Strategic Sports Plan.

Councillor Margaret Wood, Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Councillor Elizabeth Adamczyk, City of Newcastle executive manager community and recreation Lynn Duffy and CEO Jeremy Bath at the 2024 Sports Summit.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the SSP was designed to address future demand and inform the ongoing supply, maintenance and upgrade of infrastructure across the LGA.

“City of Newcastle is committed to enhancing its sporting facilities across the community for the benefit of all, which is why we’ve invested more than $20 million during the past three financial years,” she stated.

“This includes everything from field layout, drainage and irrigation improvements to major projects such as the stage one redevelopment and stage two planning and design of No.1 Sportsground and a $1.25 million upgrade at Myers Park.

“We’re also delivering on our promise to develop more inclusive, accessible and female-friendly facilities and amenities, with work completed at Lugar Park and major grandstand redevelopment ventures almost complete at Darling Street Oval and Passmore Oval.”

CN manages 63 venues, which are home to 152 fields that span over 370 hectares.

The Sports Summit brought together people from all codes that utilise council’s outdoor facilities, providing an opportunity for them to learn about processes relating to fees and charges, ground allocation, project works and grants.

Chair of CN’s Sports Infrastructure Working Party Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz said the implementation of the Strategic Sports Plan, adopted in 2020, was progressing well.

“I am pleased to say that we’ve instigated or are progressing 84% of the SSP’s 93 recommendations,” she explained.

“We have worked collaboratively with sporting clubs across the city to ensure we cater for the needs of our community now and into the future.”

Cr Winney-Baartz said CN also provided funding to assist sporting codes with minor capital works projects.

“With ongoing changes to representatives on sporting committees it’s important to stage regular workshops and forums with the sporting community to keep them up to date with City of Newcastle processes,” she added.

“This includes educating them on future funding opportunities such as CN’s Recreation facilities grants, which allow groups to apply for assistance of up to $10,000 to help upgrade existing facilities or develop new ones.

“Nine projects will be delivered in 2023/24 following on from successful grant applications last year.

“That includes artificial turf wickets at Ballast Park, grandstands for the New Lambton Eagles at Alder Park as well as creating an 18-hole disc golf course at Beresfield.

“We’re proud to work closely with our sporting clubs to ensure our community has continued access to high-quality sporting and leisure opportunities.”

Councillor Margaret Wood, co-chair of CN’s Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, said the Strategic Sports Plan 2020 also aligned with council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

“It will ensure that City of Newcastle commits to advocating for the equal rights of all, providing services, programs, events and facilities that are respectful and inclusive of people with disabilities, their families and carers,” she summed up.

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