For years now the Blayney Junior Soccer club has trained at Napier Oval, and then played at the Blayney showground.
For visiting teams it was confusing, and for the club it was inconvenient, and a little embarrassing, but come the 2020 season Napier Oval will be level, lush and ready for some serious soccer action.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole was in Blayney today to announce that through the Stronger Country Communities fund two ovals in Blayney and one in Carcoar are to receive over $850,000 for welcome upgrades.
Napier Oval is to receive the greatest proportion of the funds with works to include levelling the playing fields, irrigation, drainage and new fencing.
Dakars Oval will receive funding for the establishment of new cricket nets.
Combined, the Napier and Dakars oval works total $532,000 of the total amount to be spent, the balance of $322,000 will be spent on new public toilets, an open camp kitchen, a community barbecue shelter and new change rooms at the Carcoar grounds.
President of the Blayney Junior Soccer Club, Andrew Oldham, said that the club was growing and the upgrade of Napier was very timely.
“We increased our numbers by 40 this year, but we’re only training here and then have to play at the showground because when it’s dry here it really is just a dust-bowl,” he said.
“It’s also difficult to explain to teams from Orange where our home ground is when they come here to play.”
The slope of the playing fields will also be corrected, as will the lack of fencing around the ground.
Treasurer of the Carcoar Sports and Recreation committee Evan Lee said that the new facility in Carcoar was integral to the village’s continued growth.
“Having this building with disabled access, toilets, change rooms, showers, a good kiosk and barbecue area will help encourage young families to move here which is really critical to the survival of the village,” he said.
Mr Lee, an architect, designed the building and now is looking forward to what the future of the ground could bring.
“We’re having quite a bit of old boys rugby here now, but there’s talk of the return of the Carcoar Crows into the Woodbridge Cup in years to come,” he said.
Paul Toole said that the ground improvements will have flow-on benefits for the wider community.
“These projects will improve the safety of the fields, making it more attractive for local sporting clubs to host regional competitions at the ovals, and for locals to live a more healthy and active life.”