Harold Corr Oval in Cambridge Park will be the home of the area’s first ever synthetic sports track when it’s opened for use late next year.
For more than a decade, athletics clubs from across Penrith have been crying out for a synthetic track in the region.
On Tuesday afternoon, their dreams were finally realised when Penrith MP Stuart Ayres and Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee announced a synthetic track for the Herbert Street facility.
“In consultation with local athletics groups and Penrith City Council the decision has been made to build the new synthetic sports track at Harold Corr Oval,” Mr Ayres said.
“This sports track will enable athletes to train consistently even during inclement weather and is the first synthetic track in the Penrith area.”
Mr Ayres committed to a synthetic track for the region prior to last year’s State Election. He said a number of local sporting fields were considered for the synthetic track – including Jamison Park – but ultimately it was agreed by all parties that Harold Corr Oval was the best suited venue.
“Penrith deserves a synthetic track,” Mr Ayres said.
“The participants of these sports haven’t had this facility delivered to them, it’s been far too long and it’s fantastic that through the support of the Sports Minister and the Berejiklian Government that we’re able to deliver that to Penrith.”
Local athletics clubs – including Nepean, Cranebrook, Emu Plains and Werrington – were grinning from ear to ear following this week’s announcement. They believe the new track will be of huge benefit to the area and will prevent promising athletes leaving for better opportunities and facilities elsewhere.
“For too long our best athletes have had to go outside of our community to reach their potential – to get access to the best facilities, the best coaches – now those athletes are going to stay here or even come here,” Mr Ayres said.
“I also think there’s some great opportunities that exist in regional events, state events and school carnivals. That will also be great for the local economy as well.”
Early site investigations and planning are now underway and, once a tender is chosen, construction is slated to commence in mid-2021.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.