Community projects completed

Mallala and Long Plains netball/tennis clubs now have brand new playing surfaces, after works were recently completed thanks to funding from the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program announced last year.

Mallala and Long Plains netball clubs were among 13 Adelaide Plains Council community projects to receive funding, with works to be completed by June 30 this year.

The program supports communities impacted by drought through funding local community infrastructure and other drought relief projects.

Mallala Netball Club also received $76,000 under the State Government’s Grassroots Football, Cricket and Netball Facilities Program, and with up to $175,760 from the Federal Government, was able to upgrade courts and facilities, including a new cushioned surface incorporating three netball courts, four tennis and one basketball court, new light poles and cages, eight sports floodlights and electrical installation.

Mallala Netball Club president, Amy Cawrse, said it was excellent to have the new facilities completed.

“The whole project went really well,” Amy said.

“There were no real issues…the season-opening rain halted things but work resumed fairly quickly.”

Installing the new surface took around six weeks to complete, with light towers and a basketball court the only things left to do.

“The community is excited to get onto the courts and play now,” she said.

With APNA making the decision to call off the 2020 netball season, it will be a while before the courts get a real test-run, but Amy said they’ll be ready for tennis season in October.

“At least our tennis players will have nice new courts to play on!”

Mallala Tennis Club president, Bert Cocks, is pleased with the new courts, explaining it may take a while to get used to after playing on the old surface for so long.

“It’ll be a bit different, it’s fairly soft,” he said.

“At least the netballers won’t do any ACLs!”

Project coordinator, Sonia Angus, said the new surface will feel very different under foot.

“It’s fantastic, it’s lovely and cushioned and should minimise player injuries,” Sonia said.

“However we will need to monitor the type of footwear worn, so as not to damage it.”

“We’re so glad we were able to get this top-notch playing surface, it will benefit the whole association, and the community.”

“Thanks so much to Adelaide Plains Council for their assistance and for considering us – it’s extremely appreciated!

While the majority of netball games were played on the most southern two courts, Sonia said it wasn’t feasible to resurface these courts, especially as it would have been difficult to meet the spacing criteria.

“We decided to apply for the grant with the tennis club to do the ‘top’ four courts under the netball club banner, and the two clubs will work together to utilise the courts,” Sonia said.

“Unfortunately though, we’ll have to wait a bit longer to play on the new surface now the netball season has been cancelled.”

Long Plains Netball club also received funding under the Drought Communities Program, as well as a grant through the Office for Recreation and Sport, and has carried out court resurfacing and upgrades which involved the development of a third netball court, extending 16m from the end of the current courts.

Project coordinator, Mary-Jane McArdle, said netball, tennis and basketball representatives worked together on the project, which also included the removal of light towers and trees, new base and earthworks, fencing, goal and tennis posts, backboard, new linemarking and a new premium cushioned court surface across all courts.

“We’re lucky as a club to have some talented people and were able to get a fair bit of the preparation work done ourselves,” Mary-Jane said.

“We started in January, holding working bees to pull down existing fences and light towers and complete other prep work.

The whole project took around three months, with the only remaining job being to complete lighting installation.

“It’s disappointing the APNA season has been cancelled, but it does give us a bit more time to make sure everything is done,” Mary-Jane explained.

“It’s definitely a different surface now, it feels very different under foot…hopefully it’s going to be a lot softer on the body!”

The new surface is designed to provide greater durability and ideally prevent cracking.

“Long term, this will mean less maintenance, which is good for the local community.”