Ballina Hockey Club project manager Gary Anderson (left), Ballina mayor Phillip Silver and hockey club media liaison officer Mel Shortt are ecstatic at the new $1.1 million goal they have achieved for Ballina.
Ballina Hockey Club project manager Gary Anderson (left), Ballina mayor Phillip Silver and hockey club media liaison officer Mel Shortt are ecstatic at the new $1.1 million goal they have achieved for Ballina. Jay Cronan

Hockey club nets its $1.1m dream

IT has taken eight years of intensive lobbying but the Ballina Hockey Club will finally get a world-class synthetic playing field.

Ballina Shire Council has promised to provide $400,000 for the field, which will be constructed at Kingsford Smith Park at a total cost of $1.11 million.

A further $250,000 has been donated by a former club member who wants to remain anonymous.

Turf committee project manager Gary Anderson said the 100m by 60m field was an ‘exciting major sports project for Ballina’.

“Training on the grounds now, the surface is so uneven. It’s not smooth, and it can be a bit dangerous if the ball hits something and bounces up,” he said.

“With only one synthetic playing surface available in Goonellabah, the opportunity to play on a world-class surface has been out of reach for some locals.

“This turf in our home town will not only assist our local sportspeople, but also attract outside interest and bring visitors to Ballina.

“It will also allow us to play after wet weather.”

Hockey won’t be the only sport to benefit from the new complex – soccer, touch football and Oz-tag will also use the surface.

The new complex will include a clubhouse, canteen, toilet facilities and spectator grandstands.

Construction of the project is expected to start in the first half of the year, and should take about three months to finish.

“This is a $1.1 million project and this support means we are well over halfway there,” Mr Anderson said.

“We now need the business community to get behind us and help make this dream a reality.”

Ballina mayor Phillip Silver also encouraged residents and businesses to support the project.

“It has been a privilege to work with a community group like the hockey club because they are so keen to help themselves,” he said.

Once the new synthetic field is finished the Far North Coast Hockey Association has committed to playing games in Ballina.

To find out more about the project, or to donate, phone Mr Anderson on 0412 875 331 or Steve Hunter on 0418 241 465, or email turfproject@ballinahockey.org.au.



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