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Sutherland Shire backs multiple synthetic sports field installations

Sutherland Shire backs multiple synthetic sports field installations
July 30, 2014

Sutherland Shire Council is to contribute up to $5 million for sports infrastructure development with a further $3 million to come from project partners, sporting clubs and associations for the installation of synthetic playing and training sports fields across the Shire.

Sutherland Shire Mayor Steve Simpson said that with one in four residents in the southern Sydney local government area registered to play sport locally, the implementation of a new strategic direction would keep pace with growing demand for quality sports fields and the need to provide all weather facilities.

Mayor Simpson explained “the demand on sporting fields and facilities in the Shire is severely testing the current capacity of council’s grassed sports facilities but we are planning for the future.

“The construction of a new sports precinct at Greenhills will provide 10 new multisports playing and training fields for the community. Council has also undertaken an exhaustive analysis of sites across the Shire, consulted with synthetic field experts and reviewed the latest technology to maximise the use of the existing sports fields through installing synthetic surfaces.

“We now have three new locations across the Shire where synthetic surfaces will be installed commencing this year. They are two mulitsports fields at Kareela Playing Fields, two synthetic fields within Greenhills Parklands which will also be used by other sports and Lilli Pilli Oval. We hope that when these synthetic fields are up and running, the sports clubs and associations will see the great value in installing these surfaces and get on board with more sites across the Shire.”

Kareela Playing Fields

As part of council’s strategic direction for the future provision and management of sports facilities, council will construct and maintain two synthetic multisports fields at Kareela Playing Fields by working closely with the sports clubs and associations that currently use these facilities.

The full sized synthetic football fields will be located where fields 2 and 3 are currently with the synthetic surface meeting the FIFA 1 approved standard for synthetic playing field surfaces.

The new synthetic fields will be utilised by current users such to provide for a range of sports including football/soccer, rugby, cricket and touch football.

Greenhills Parklands

The Greenhills Parklands will offer 10 new sporting fields and a skate park with associated fields amenities buildings, lighting, drainage and provision for over 400 parking spaces. The sports facility is part of the Greenhills Voluntary Planning (VPA) agreement between Sutherland Shire Council, Australand and Breen Holdings on the Kurnell Pensinsula.

The fields are essentially located in three groups and will be delivered in three stages with Stage 1b being the construction of two synthetic hockey playing fields to International Hockey standard which will also be utilised by other sports.

The synthetic fields will be funded and delivered in partnership by the VPA, the Sutherland Hockey Association and Hockey NSW through a NSW Government sports facility grant.

Lilli Pill Oval

Mayor Simpson added that Lilli Pilli Football Club (LPFC) was the first local football club in the Shire to seriously pursue a solution to enhance all weather playability and to overcome the problems associated with recurrent damage to its turf based home ground, Lilli Pilli Oval.

He added “LPFC is the largest football club in the Shire with the oval providing over 30 hours a week of combined football training and competition during the winter season. This use exceeds the carrying capacity of the oval for almost the entire season and the result is that the turf is unable to recover each year.

“Significant time and money has been spent by council over the years in repairing and returfing the grounds to bring it back to a safe condition for players. There is also the ongoing need to keep the field watered during times of drought.

“The solution is a new synthetic surface which will create a sustainable and long lasting community facility to improve the playing field conditions and minimise the ongoing cost to ratepayers in renovating the site each summer.”

Under the terms of a licence management agreement between LPFC and council, LPFC will provide the funding for the installation of the synthetic field and the ongoing maintenance of the facility and council will undertake a number of infrastructure upgrades associated with the project such as upgrading the public toilets, providing new seating and pathways, improving site entries and car parking as well as replacing fencing.

The facility will be open to the general public and LPFC will work with all the current users of the oval including the Sutherland Shire Junior Cricket Association and Lilli Pilli Public School to maintain their use of the oval as well facilitate its use for other potential users.

Sutherland Shire loves it sport

Sutherland Shire has a very strong sporting ethos which manifests itself in high levels of sports participation in all age groups and at all levels. This includes the: largest junior football/soccer association in NSW, the largest netball association in NSW, the largest Oztag association in NSW and an overall marked increase in other sport participation, in particular cricket, AFL and hockey where a shortage of field availability already exists.

Over the past decade, the hours of sports fields use during the winter sports season has increased significantly with the: average hours of use per field for community sports being 37.5 hours per week with an additional nine hours per week per field for school use total average hours of use at some sites being over 45 hours.

The horticultural ideal for use of a natural turf sports fields depends on the quality of field construction but in general is 20 to25 hours per week in winter. This capacity is well exceeded at many sports fields in the Shire.


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