OVAL UPGRADE: Lismore Swans Junior AFL player Katrina McQuilty shows Ben Franklin how to handball as her father Nick looks on. Franklin was there to announce a $115,000 fencing upgrade for Mortimer Oval.
OVAL UPGRADE: Lismore Swans Junior AFL player Katrina McQuilty shows Ben Franklin how to handball as her father Nick looks on. Franklin was there to announce a $115,000 fencing upgrade for Mortimer Oval.

Big boost for popular Lismore sports oval

FOOTY, cricket and school sporting teams are set to enjoy the latest Mortimer Oval upgrade worth $115,000 from the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

On Thursday Lismore Swans junior, Katrina McQuilty, 10, was giving MLC Ben Franklin a few pointers on handballing as he made the funding announcement.

As Katrina expertly passed the Sherrin to Franklin, her dad Nick said the club was really pleased about the upgrade, which will comprise the installation of white PVC fencing around the oval and six gate access points.

McQuilty said the club was delighted, as the new fence will allow players to feel secure on the ground while ensuring spectators and other users of the park remain outside the playing area.

Club president Phillip Knowles said it was understood the fence will sit some 3m out from the oval boundary.

Franklin said the new fence will ensure the oval is a safe and active environment for people to participate in sports with a reduced risk of injury.

“Currently, the oval is unable to host higher-aged youth football matches due to the safety issues surrounding the boundary line a so a new fence would enable these matches to occur,” he said.

Franklin said Mortimer Oval previously received funding and successfully built a new amenities block and a footpath around the oval.

“This renovation increased local active engagement with cyclists, runners and skateboarders using the precinct regularly,” he said.

“The oval is used by the local community for sports including cricket, Australian Rules football, school sport and general recreation.”

Although the 2020 season of local winter sports has had to be suspended in line with the Public Health Order, it is hoped community sports will be able to continue again before the end of the year.



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