A tall order meets match
By Emma O'Neill
WALKING on to Lennox Head's Williams Reserve can make you feel 'ten feet tall and bullet-proof', according to the president of the Lennox Head Combined Sports Association, Darel Vidler. "That's what it feels like when you walk out on this field to represent your town in the middle of your town," he said. With such power on its green, it's easy to understand why Williams Reserve has been called the 'heartbeat of the town', and why more than 300 people turned out to reflect on its history and celebrate a Ballina Shire Council decision to withdraw plans for a skate park which would have encroached on Williams Reserve by about 20 metres. The Save Williams Reserve public celebration day was organised after the council revised plans to allow temporary car parking and the new skate park to be built on parts of the reserve. The decision by the council last Thursday means that the plan which caused the town to rally will be sent back to the architects with instructions to redesign the skate park without affecting Williams Reserve. Ballina Shire Councillor Sharon Cadwallader said that since the role of a councillor was to 'support what the community wants' the decision to rethink plans for the encroaching skate park was a 'no brainer.' However, Mr Vidler said despite this win the fight wasn't over. "The park looks a bit rundown at the moment, however, clubs are reluctant to upgrade the facilities," he said. "If council gave active sporting clubs a guarantee they had a future on the site, and wouldn't lose it with a shift to other long overdue fields, more would be done and more clubs would be happy to invest in the upkeep and the look of the reserve. "This has been a sporting heritage for more than 30 years, and to date it's nearly been all voluntary toil from sporting clubs that have saved council a whole lot of headaches."