Sports centre gains state-level support

A PROPOSED multi-million dollar sports and recreation centre for Mount Gambier has been welcomed by the state’s peak sporting bodies.

Mount Gambier City Council city growth manager Judy Nagy and Mayor Andrew Lee toured the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Adelaide last month and attended meetings with Swimming SA, Basketball SA, Netball SA and Tennis SA.

Delivering a report to the Mount Gambier Regional Sport and Recreation Centre Committee this week, Ms Nagy said plans to build the proposed $40m indoor/outdoor facility were “overwhelmingly supported” by all four governing bodies.

“The Swimming SA board had printed copies of our initial concept design and were well informed about our broader intent,” she said.

“The feedback was very positive and the conversation was around long-term plans to include our facility in their programming with preseason training camps and junior carnivals.

“Basketball SA indicated they would work to decentralise country championships to allow regional areas to host events.

“The Netball SA board was behind the project and discussed bringing Thunderbirds preseason games and Premier League games to the region.”

Tennis SA highlighted its aspiration to develop a partnership with council and will consider funding outdoor tennis courts if the project goes ahead.

“All four of the state bodies were willing to assist in any way they could to make sure this gets up,” Ms Nagy said.

“They were really impressed with our community reference group – they knew the local people involved, which was great.”

Mr Lee said the proposed facility had the potential to create pathways for the region’s talented young athletes.

“We were so overwhelmed by the reception we had and the meetings were very positive in terms of how the state’s sporting bodies might use our facility,” he said.

“To have that connection to the state body and for them to be aware of what we are doing here will create pathways for our high-potential younger sports people.

“We are all aware of how many parents drive to Adelaide almost every weekend – we have lots of young people who play at a high level.”