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Restoration works begin on ACT sportgrounds in advance of summer season

Restoration works begin on ACT sportgrounds in advance of summer season
September 18, 2018

The ACT Government has advised that all of its irrigated sportsgrounds will be closed from today (Monday 17th September) to Sunday 30th September 2018 to undergo repairs and maintenance.

Explaining that restorations are conducted twice yearly at the beginning and end of the summer sport season, ACT Government Director of City Presentation, Stephen Alegria advised “during the shutdown period, all ACT Government irrigated natural turf sportsgrounds will be closed and unavailable for formal hire, allowing much needed maintenance to be carried out.

“The summer season is always busy for sportsgrounds in the ACT with a range of sporting groups and individuals getting great use out of our ovals, which is why we need to undertake these essential maintenance works to ensure the grounds are in good condition.”

The ACT Government manages approximately 280 hectares of irrigated sportsgrounds across 126 separate sites in the ACT and each of these grounds host regular training and competitions year round.

Alegria added “regular users of our sportsgrounds understand the importance of the ground restoration work we undertake twice each year, and once completed sportsground surfaces will be safe, sustainable and fit for purpose, ready to host summer sports such as cricket, softball and baseball.”

The annual spring sportsground renovation program focuses on repairing surfaces damaged through the winter sport season and on giving grounds a much needed break prior to the start of summer competition.

The program includes applying fertiliser to assist turf growth coming out of winter dormancy and to reestablish turf density prior to summer competitions commencing. Other restoration activities include aeration, top dressing of worn and uneven areas and over sowing of bare or sparse areas to achieve an even turf cover.

Daytime irrigation of sportsgrounds is likely to also be undertaken to help establish new grass seeds that have been planted.

Goal posts will be removed from the majority of winter sportsgrounds as they sit in the outfield area of summer sports, and back nets will be installed on grounds where softball and baseball are played. Crease markings on cricket wickets will also be re-surveyed and marked prior to the start of the cricket season and athletics facilities will have long jump pits topped up with sand.

There are some exemptions to the shutdown period for teams training for finals and also for Gridiron competition and training, which does not align with the standard winter and summer sport seasons.

The dates of the shutdown period are negotiated well in advance with the sports associations and clubs who regularly use ACT Government ovals to ensure disruption to playing and training schedules are minimised.

Schools are notified of the shutdown period and are asked where possible to limit the use of ACT Government sportsgrounds during this time.

Alegria concluded “I would like to thank all sportsground users for their support and patience whilst we complete these essential restoration works.”

The sportsgrounds will reopen on Monday 1st October 2018.

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31st July 2015 - ACT Government launches a new vision for recreation and play

1st February 2015 - Report suggests elite and grassroots sport at risk from climate change

22nd October 2014 - ACT Government invites input on outdoor gym design

8th July 2013 - ACT Government provides $13.5 million for the University of Canberra’s ‘Sports Commons’ project

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