Glen Innes is to become a regional hub for the sport of netball, with the green light given to a Regional Indoor Netball Complex.
Members of the Glen Innes Netball Association joined representatives from Glen Innes Severn Council on Monday to hear Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall announce the State Government’s contribution of $4.22 million to the long awaited project.
Coaching co-ordinator Julie Fuller said it was a dream come true for the club, which next year will celebrate 50 years.
“This has been a passion of mine for so long. Glen Innes already punches above its weight on the field, and now we can do it for real,” she said.
Mr Marshall said the new $5.5 million netball stadium and four new courts will make up the Glen Innes Regional Netball Facility and will meet national competition standards.
Glen Innes Severn Council will add $1.278million to the project.
“The funding will help to pay for a new 2,125 square metre two-court indoor stadium with two outdoor additional adjoining courts in greater Wilson Park Sports Precinct,” Mr Marshall said.
The two indoor courts will also accommodate basketball, futsal, badminton and volleyball, spectator bench seating, a rock climbing wall, player and referee change rooms and toilets.
Glen Innes Netball Association President Bec Cooke was delighted with the announcement.
“The association has been hampered due to the current courts being non-compliant for major carnivals and we’ve missed out on generating revenue because of that,” Ms Cooke said.
“Despite the playing conditions, Glen has consistently been able to produce athletes who have been selected into the Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS), and there were seven girls selected in the NIAS squads between 2014 and 2016.
“Glen Innes teams have been on the state stage with great results over the past few years. I expect we’ll see that standard surpassed with the new regional facility in play.”
Glen Innes Severn Council said the government funding for a new complex was exciting news for the town.
“We have a fantastic netball fraternity in town,” general manager Hein Basson said.
He said the complex will be a good foundation for future players.
“The Glen Innes Regional Netball Facility will open avenues for other sporting codes and other recreational activities to form part of that complex.”