Pick your sport in Port Pirie
Port Pirie Regional Council, South Australia, has delivered local residents an unparalleled gift with the opening of the town’s new sports precinct.
The project received funding of $5 million each from the Australian and South Australian governments, and with Council’s $11.7 million contribution delivers a world class facility that has created employment and upgraded infrastructure along the way.
The multi use facility will house gymnastics, squash, football, cricket, soccer, croquet and baseball.
The original project was expanded to include an indoor swimming complex including learn to swim pool, lagoon and toddler pools, and water playground.
New buildings include a two sided, 200 seat function centre overlooking the playing fields, two canteens, umpire rooms, change and strapping rooms, office space and balcony seating.
An electronic scoreboard, improved turf surface, drainage and irrigation, and night game quality lighting will invite national and even international events.
Already word has gone around enticing the Australian Football League to locate a JTL match to Port Pirie in March 2019, as well as the Regional Swimming Championships and the State Masters Games locked into the events calendar.
The Australian Cricket Board has given the oval its seal of approval declaring it the best regional ground in the country.
Former Councillor Darryl Johnson, who championed the project, said many of the sporting facilities were run down; economically the region was quite flat and had needed something like a sporting hub and function centre to promote and support regional development.
While taking pride in the outcome, Johnson said that the community had driven the project and were particularly active in expanding its scope to include the indoor swimming precinct, which facilitates water sports all year round.
Mayor, Leon Stephens, said, “We are very grateful for the funding and the community will see the benefits of the funding for many years to come.”