Cash boost helps clubs kick goals

Limestone Coast sporting clubs have welcomed a State Government cash injection to improve their facilities.

Several clubs spread throughout the region will share in more than $1.3m from the Infrastructures Projects 2021-22 grant program.

The Mount Gambier Italo Australian Club will receive $362,800 to construct four unisex changerooms, umpire rooms, spectator viewing area and amenities.

The funding will also cover the installation of four LED light towers providing 200 lux and four LED light towers providing 100 lux at the Bay Road site.

The grant is being supported by the club’s major sponsor Vince Versace, who will contribute $440,000 in-kind to take the total of the project to $800,000.

Mount Gambier Italo Australian Club president Rocco Bueti said the new complex would not only be an asset for International, but for the Limestone Coast Football Association.

“We are so excited to get his project under way, there have been many years of hard work behind the scenes going towards getting this project to fruition,” he said.

“We are driven by the vision to improve inclusiveness and participation at our club. This project will promote greater gender equality, result in increased participation and provide significant opportunity to schedule night fixtures that attract bigger crowds.

“We are hoping to get contracts signed with the Department of Recreation and Sports as soon as possible and we are ready to go.”

Mr Versace, who has been a sponsor of the club for more than 30 years, said he was hoping to have the facility ready by the start of this year’s season.

“The prime objective of the whole project is social inclusion, not just for our club but for all clubs in the Limestone Coast Football Association,” he said.

“This is about nurturing of the sport and the promotion of women’s teams and mini roos and juniors, that’s what brings people to our club.

“It’s important to note that this is one of the first major developments at our club in almost 50 years.”

Mr Versace, whose father Giulio was one of the founding members of the club and a past president, said he was proud to continue on four generations of association with International.

Other sporting clubs to receive funds through the program include the Mount Gambier Golf Club which has been allocated $11,700 to refurbish its female amenities, while the Borderline Speedway will construct amenities and change facilities thanks to a $40,000 grant.

Millicent’s McLaughlin Park Sports Incorporated has been granted $96,000 to construct a synthetic cricket pitch and clubroom facility. This will enable the venue to meet Cricket Australia’s Community Cricket Facility Guidelines.

Mount Burr United Football Club will replace existing lighting with four new light towers providing 150 lux after being allocated $120,900.

Mundulla Football Club has been granted $445,000 to construct a unisex changeroom including amenities, office space, umpire’s room and storage and Bordertown Football Club will redevelop clubrooms, replace ceiling, install solar panels and provide unisex changerooms and amenities with a grant of $230,000.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard, said South Australian sport and recreation organisations pounced when the latest round of applications opened last year.

“We’re building what matters to South Australians and investing – approximately $45m in the past two years – in grassroot club projects that make a genuine difference to people’s lives,” Minister Wingard said.

“This money has and continues to help build new grandstands, changerooms, toilets, kitchens, canteens, first aid rooms and is transforming clubs into wheelchair friendly spaces.

“Simple things like new family-friendly changerooms are now possible through the Marshall Government’s game-changing program and we want to see everyone get a slice of the pie.

“We know now more than ever girls and young women are taking up sport and the appropriate facilities must be in place to accommodate and support the next generation of South Australian athletes.

“Our program has an enormous impact on the community and a benefit is seeing more people be active and healthy through participation in local sports.

“Further to that, we see hundreds of jobs created during the construction phase of these projects in a huge boost to our local economy.”

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