An exciting $1.8 million renovation of Emu Sports Club is almost complete, with its aging clubhouse undergoing a major makeover to help ensure its survival.
Home of the Leonay golf course, the new-look clubhouse is set to be unveiled in late November and will boast a brand new kitchen, new bar, fireplace area and all new carpet and furniture.
The 50-year-old club almost collapsed twice in 2014 and is slowly coming back from the brink of financial abyss, breaking even or recording modest profits in recent years.
CEO Andrew Gardner, brought in to help save the club in 2014, said the majority of funding for the renovations hinges on the proceeds of the proposed development of eight single-storey seniors housing dwellings, to be built on the edge of the golf course along Leonay Parade, which is currently being reviewed by Penrith Council.
He said the sale of land, which was member-approved in 2015, was crucial to the club’s ongoing viability.
“At the end of the day our competitors keep renewing their services, you have things happening across the river, we needed to make sure this place was up to scratch to keep attracting people otherwise we were going to keep going down again, that’s why we have proceeded with what is going on here,” he said.
“If we don’t do this development that is currently on the table, that is member-approved, then basically we are under financial hardship again. And financial hardship for our neighbours means the golf course won’t be maintained, it won’t be here and there is the potential that it could go to a bigger development if the club was to close.”
Mr Gardner stressed “there are definitely no other plans to put any other developments on this property for housing”.
He said the development and upgrades would benefit the entire community.
“We’re doing these changes to meet the needs of the local community, to provide a club that serves good food, a good place to socialise and something for the locals, so we can also give money back to local sporting groups and things like that,” he said.
“So we need locals to support us for us to be able to support the local community. That’s what it’s all about.”
Alena Higgins is the Weekender’s Senior News Reporter, primarily covering courts and Council issues.