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    Nhill's grandstand in 2018.
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Kaniva and Nhill clubs' windfall

By Sean O’Connell

New changerooms and undercover, tiered spectator seating will be built at Nhill’s Davis Park after receiving $250,000 from the State Government and AFL’s Country Football Netball Program.

Hindmarsh Shire Council with Nhill and District Sporting Club were among several successful applicants across the Wimmera and Grampians region, with new lighting set for Kaniva Recreation Reserve; an upgrade at Tatyoon Oval; and an upgrade, including new drainage and irrigation, of Penshurst’s oval.

Nhill’s new changerooms will be constructed where the former grandstand was previously located, with works expected to start in April and take about 12 to 18 months to complete.

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The $1.5-million masterplan for Davis Park will be funded through council’s allocation of $760,000 from the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program phase four, plus an additional $440,000, and $50,000 from Nhill and District Sporting Club. 

Club president Rob Bell said the masterplan was a three-phase plan to improve facilities, with the second phase set to include new changerooms and a second court for netballers, while new clubrooms and function room formed the third phase.

Mr Bell said following the demolition of the old grandstand, the club decided to ‘tie’ the new changerooms and grandstand into one project.

“We really don’t have any undercover seating. All of the facilities at Davis Park are outdated. Access to the disabled toilets is difficult, which is why we wanted to tick things off and get it where it needs to be,” he said. 

“The grandstand will be multiple levels, with the bottom row raised a little bit to help people see over the fence.

“There will be an all-abilities access ramp to the bottom step and conventional steps up to the top, where we will have the timekeepers’ box and a media room.” 

Mr Bell said the new changerooms would include unisex shower facilities, a trainer’s room and office, with facilities to be used by participants of all user groups including football, netball, cricket and hockey clubs.

He said funding for new facilities was a long time coming, with the club applying unsuccessfully for ‘a lot’ of grants.

Kaniva-Leeor United president Brad Dickinson said a $250,000 grant, applied for through West Wimmera Shire Council, would be used to change the lighting at Kaniva Recreation Reserve to raise it to ‘AFL-standard’. 

“The lights we have are pretty old. We would be one of the last few clubs in West Wimmera Shire to get their lights upgraded, it’s been high on the priority list,” he said. 

“It will allow us to use the whole oval for training, rather than just patches.” 

Mr Dickinson said a timeline for the upgrades was yet to be finalised, but the aim for completion was 2025. 

Southern Grampians Shire Council and Penshurst Football Netball Club aim to increase football participation, equitable access and safety at Penshurst Recreation Reserve through a $137,586 grant.

Club football committee member Adam Bester said the club was forced to trained at the town’s primary school last year due to poor conditions at its home ground. 

“Last year our oval was a quagmire. We missed out on playing a lot of games there, particularly finals, which meant the club missed out on that opportunity for income,” he said.

“Another big factor was people were injuring themselves on it – these upgrades will help avoid a lot of those injuries.” 

Works are expected to begin in October. The club was also successful in securing separate funding for an electronic scoreboard and will soon look for funding to upgrade its lights.

The entire February 28, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire February 28, 2024 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!