Upgraded facilities and amenities for Aussie Rules players and the local Little Athletics Club at Grey Gums Oval in Cranebrook will headline a $1.8 million commitment from the current State Government, if re-elected on Saturday.
Minister for Sport Alister Henskens said the funding, which includes upgrading the oval’s floodlights, would help improve amenities and enhance accessibility for girls and women playing sport in the local area.
“Grassroots sport plays a critical role in the fabric of our communities and helps to keep people healthy, active and socially connected, which is why the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to making our local sporting facilities more accessible to all,” he said.
The Coalition says it builds on its commitment to grassroots community sports infrastructure and programs, with a focus on boosting female participation.
Penrith MP Stuart Ayres said the commitment by the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government would play an important part in removing barriers that stop people, including girls and women, from playing sport in the local community.
“This is a big win for AFL players and our Little Athletics community who call Grey Gums Oval their home ground,” Ayres said last week.
“The investment from the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government will go a long way in making sure our local sports clubs can continue to grow their registrations, alongside a modern, fit-for-purpose facility.”
Grey Gums Oval is currently home to the Penrith Rams and Ramettes as well as the Penrith Giants Junior AFL Club. Located along Greygums Road, the oval also houses the Cranebrook Little Athletics Centre during the summer months.
Penrith Rams President John Rix said the upgrade will allow the local AFL club to provide better facilities for players, volunteers and officials.
“Expanded change room options will provide us with more flexibility on game day, particularly when it comes to hosting female players,” he said.
It would appear Labor won’t match the Coalition’s commitment to upgrade Grey Gums Oval.
When asked to comment on the announcement, Penrith candidate Karen McKeown said: “Having raised four children here with my husband Brendan, I know how important parks and open spaces are to Penrith families. That’s why a Minns Labor Government will deliver $400,000 to upgrade local playgrounds and parks across Penrith. This will ensure that everyone has access to the play spaces young families need.”
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 a decade.