Maitland City Council’s commitment to local sport just got a whole lot bigger with the announcement of a $2million spend on floodlighting for ovals across the local government area.
The latest projects are being carried out at Maitland Park netball courts and the BMX track at Tenambit – both receiving the city’s first energy efficient LED floodlighting.
Council has already spent $900,000 (including the netball and BMX projects) on recreational floodlighting and over the next four years will spend another $1.1million.
Sites already reaping the benefits are Cook Square Park playing grounds at East Maitland, Fieldsend Oval at Tenambit, A and D Lawrence ovals Thornton and Max McMahon Oval, Rutherford.
Other locations to receive floodlighting over the next four years are Lochinvar, Somerset Park, Roy Jordan (Gillieston Heights), Metford, Bolwarra, Largs, Lorn and Coronation (Telarah) ovals.
“This is all part of our ongoing floodlight upgrades – part of our rolling works program,” said council’s Works manager Ashley Kavanagh.
Mr Kavanagh said the lighting roll out is for all sporting areas across the Maitland Local Government Area with high use grounds receiving a higher priority.
“The big thing with this latest project is that both sites are conducive to LED floodlights – the first time we have used this technology on our sports fields,” Mr Kavanagh said.
He said council is also replacing old timber lighting poles with steel poles (ranging in size from 12 to 25 metres) for environmental and longevity purposes.
The Mercury reported in September how East Maitland Athletics and Little Athletics Centre had lighting issues. The organisations had to cancel several events after inadequate lighting at Metford Oval sparked safety concerns.
With over 100 members, the club is one of the biggest in the Hunter Zone.
The Mercury report also said that Metford Oval had been identified for lighting improvements and was on the council’s radar.
Mr Kavanagh said it is groups like Little Athletics that will benefit from this latest program.
“More people are training for sports at night,” he said. “And the sporting landscape has changed with BMX playing a major role these days – it’s not just cricket and footie anymore,” he said.
It’s an exiciting time for sport in Maitland with the recent opening of the new No.1 Sportsground and the $10.5 million redevelopment of Maitland Athletics Facility at Smyth Field now underway.
Construction will include a new 400 metre synthetic track and associated field facilities.