City of Newcastle kicking goals with strategic approach to sports facilities

08 Feb 2024

More than $20 million has been invested into upgrading and expanding Newcastle’s sporting facilities during the past three years as City of Newcastle (CN) moves forward with the delivery of its Strategic Sports Plan.

Representatives from sporting codes across the city were updated on the progress of the Plan during last night’s third annual Sports Summit, which was established by CN in 2022 to support a more collaborative relationship with local sporting groups.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said CN was kicking goals in the implementation of its 10-year Strategic Sports Plan, which was designed to address future demand and inform the ongoing supply, maintenance and upgrade of sporting infrastructure across the Local Government Area.

“City of Newcastle is committed to upgrading sporting facilities across the community for the benefit of all, which is why we’ve invested more than $20 million during the past three financial years to enhance our sportsgrounds and amenities,” Cr Nelmes said.

“This includes everything from field layout, drainage and irrigation upgrades to major projects such as the stage one redevelopment and stage two planning and design of No.1 Sportsground and a $1.25 million upgrade at Myers Park.

“We’re also delivering on our promise to develop more inclusive, accessible and female-friendly facilities and amenities, with upgrades completed at Lugar Park and major grandstand redevelopment projects almost complete at Darling Street Oval and Passmore Oval.

Chair of CN's Sports Infrastructure Working Party, Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz, said that implementation of the City's Strategic Sports Plan, adopted in 2020, is progressing well.

“Since adopting the Plan, I'm pleased to say that we’ve implemented or are progressing 84 per cent of its 93 recommendations, working collaboratively with sporting clubs across the City to ensure we cater for the needs of our community now and into the future.”

Cr Winney-Baartz said CN also provides funding to assist sporting codes with minor capital works projects.

"With ongoing changes to representatives on sporting committees it's important to hold regular workshops and forums with the sporting community to keep them up to date with City of Newcastle processes,” Cr Winney-Baartz said.

"This includes educating them on future funding opportunities such as CN’s Recreation facilities grants, which allow groups to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help upgrade existing facilities or develop new ones.

“Nine projects will be delivered in 2023/24 following on from successful grant applications last year, including new artificial turf wickets at Ballast Park in Stockton, new grandstands for the New Lambton Eagles at Alder Park, as well as creating the region's first 18-hole disc golf course at Beresfield.

“We're proud to work closely with our sporting clubs to ensure our community has continued access to high quality sporting and leisure opportunities.”

Councillor Margaret Wood, co-chair of CN's Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, said the Strategic Sports Plan 2020 also aligns with CN's Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

"This plan ensures that City of Newcastle commits to advocating for the equal rights of all, providing services, programs, events and facilities that are respectful and inclusive of people with disabilities, their families and carers," Cr Wood said.

CN manages 63 sportsgrounds venues, which are home to 152 fields that span over 370 hectares.

The Sports Summit brought together representatives from all codes that utilise CN's outdoor facilities, providing an opportunity for them to learn about council processes relating to fees and charges, ground allocation, project works and grants.