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Maitland netballers welcome million-dollar upgrade

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There were smiles aplenty on show at the Maitland Park Netball Courts at the weekend.

After weeks of gloominess, due to the incessant rain, the association’s members, committee, guests and visitors finally had something to be cheerful about with the official opening of the club’s new-look facilities on Saturday morning.

It was just 12 months ago when Maitland City Council proved successful in acquiring $1 million in NSW Government funding for stage two of the modernisation project.

The upgrade works included the complete reconstruction and resurfacing of 15 courts, as well as the installation of energy efficient LED floodlighting for match play.

All up, the development cost approximately $5 million.

“This is a major win for our members who have contributed significantly over the years,” Maitland Netball Association president Leearna Bennett said.

“It’s the only facility outside of the Sydney metropolitan area at a regional standard and will result in increased participation, reduced maintenance cost and time, reduced injuries to players and the opportunity to attract more high-level events.

“We’re extremely delighted with the finished product.”

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison admitted she was impressed by the state-of-the-art complex, too.

“With more than 2,500 members playing for 20 clubs, at 75 years of age the Maitland Netball Association continues to go from strength-to-strength,” she said.

“I’m delighted to attend the official re-opening of Maitland’s 32 netball courts, since they received a much-needed upgrade.

“The project was made possible through $1 million in state funding secured in partnership between the Maitland Netball Association and Maitland City Council, which I was proud to support.

“At the 2019 election, I made a commitment to make sure that investment in netball would be received by the Maitland community from the NSW Government, to ensure a centre of excellence for netball would exist outside of Sydney.

“I am incredibly proud to say this has been achieved and that Maitland is now in a position to host the NSW State Championships.

“Congratulations go to all the hard work of Maitland Netball Association’s committee and members.

“It was wonderful to be joined by mayor Philip Penfold, deputy mayor Mitchell Griffin, former mayor Peter Blackmore, and councillors Loretta Baker, Ben Whiting and Mike Yarrington, along with Netball NSW personnel and the amazing sponsors of netball in Maitland, at today’s opening.”

Maitland state MP Jenny Aitchison, Maitland City mayor Philip Penfold, Netball Australia board member Wendy Archer and Maitland Netball Association president Leearna Bennett at the official opening of the Maitland Park Netball Courts.

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