Head over heels for new Casino Indoor Sports Stadium
HUNDREDS of people turned out for the grand opening of the Casino Indoor Sports Stadium at Colley Park on Saturday, with the $1.8 million venue christened with a sausage sizzle, basketball, netball and even a touch of yoga and Zumba.
The opening of the elite indoor stadium means the town can now host major regional sporting events while it also provides a state-of-the-art home for a plethora of sports.
It's the first time the town has had a dual-court sporting complex in its history.
Three generations of Casino netball players, Deidre Coe, her daughter Mikayla and mother Dianne Allen, were among those who attended the grand opening to check out the new facility.
Mrs Coe, who is also president of the Casino Netball Association, said it was fantastic to finally have an indoor stadium that catered for netball.
"The old basketball stadium was too small so we couldn't play netball in there," she said.
Mrs Coe said the facility had already won approval with the State League netball competition to be played there in March-April.
Mrs Coe said Yamba and Grafton were the only other Northern Rivers centres able to host State League events.
"There's not too many towns which have got a big stadium like this," she said.
Netball is just one of many sports set to be played in the stadium each week.
The basketball competition is also set to make a return to Casino after an absence of several years.
Richmond Valley councillor Robert Mustow said a key feature of the stadium was its fully sprung flooring, which reduced the impact on players' joints.
Cr Mustow said the new stadium marked a symbolic turnaround from 2013 when the council sold the single-court stadium he had raised a federal grant to build in 1991. That court wasn't regulation size.
Cr Mustow said he had been against the decision to sell but said the new stadium was a fantastic result.
The stadium features tiered seating, social areas, shower and toilet facilities, and a central curtain to allow separate games or activities.
Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett said he could see the venue lending itself to many sports, as well as other activities and events.
"Even though dollars were tight we found we could make this work and I think the community will be thankful for a long time to come," he said.