Funding keeps playing fields in top top condition
  • Thursday 31 July 2014

Sunshine Coast Council today announced the funding recipients for the 2014 Sports Field Maintenance Funding Program – and it’s positive news all round.

Economic Development (Sports, Major Events and Tourism) Portfolio Councillor Jason OPray said the 2014 Sports Field Maintenance Funding Program was a fantastic initiative for sport across the whole of the Sunshine Coast Council region.  

“Forty-one sporting organisations have been approved for funding, to a total amount of $541,595, for nine sports field types: AFL, athletics, cricket, hockey, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, softball and touch football,” Cr OPray said.

“As well as the financial contribution towards maintenance costs, the program includes the continued appointment of a dedicated Council Parks Community Sports Field Officer who provides expert advice and support to sporting organisations to assist them in maintaining turf surfaces to competition level.”

Cr OPray said since its launch in 2011, the benefits of the program have been impressive, not just for the clubs and sports groups, but more broadly for the local economy and community.

“The program aligns closely with Council’s vision to be the most sustainable region,” he said.

“From a financial perspective, the funding support provides a strong return on investment for ratepayers – in other words it’s great bang for the buck.

“Council will contribute 70% of the funding for the contractor rate to maintain the sports field for funding up to three years.

“For the small amount of money contributed, the Sunshine Coast has nurtured a reputation across Queensland and even overseas for the high standard of our sports fields.

“This has attracted many different teams and visitors from other regions to travel to the Sunshine Coast for training and competitions.

“As well as the economic benefit that visitors bring, the high standard of our fields also contributes to an increase in the health and wellness of our local communities.

"Good facilities are not only attractive but assist and encourage people to be active and social through the participation in these team sports.”

Maroochydore Rugby Union Club Treasurer Luke Anderson said the benefits of the Sports Field Maintenance Program had been outstanding for the club.

“The club was successful for three year funding back in 2011, and I’m delighted we have been successful again in the 2014 round for another three years,” Mr Anderson said.

“The contribution towards funding, combined with the high level of service and education provided by Council’s Sports Field Officer Jack Rea have made a positive difference to the number of groups using our fields, the type of use and the feedback we receive.

“As people start to learn that we have an A-grade field, we’re drawing teams from near and far such as the Fiji Rugby Union team who recently chose our grounds to train.

“We also recently hosted a Regional Junior Rugby Union Carnival with about 200 participants travelling from the Southern Downs region to compete, bringing with them family and friends to enjoy not only the the competition but our region and and provide a bit of a boost to the local economy at the same time.  

“The high standard of our sports field is also attracting a variety of uses – whether it be Sunshine Coast Fire training here or Surf Clubs and small businesses using the grounds for various events and activities.”

More generally, the benefits of the Sports Field Maintenance Funding Program include:

  • Increased capacity of sporting clubs to maintain fields, resulting in better facilities
  • Increased ability to take on bigger projects to improve usage and drainage
  • Encourages strong relationships between Council and the sporting clubs resulting in knowledge sharing
  • Improved safety for users through well maintained fields
  • Increased volunteer knowledge of field maintenance.

For further information about the 2014 Sports Field Maintenance Funding Program and the successful recipients, visit Council’s  website.