Lake Cathie Netball Club seek solution to lighting issues

Port Macquarie-Hastings councillor Josh Slade with Lake Cathie Netball Club President Tami Ray and Secretary Sinead McKechnie.

OFFICIALS from Lake Cathie Netball Club (LCNC) are seeking a permanent solution to lighting issues at the town’s netball court.

Port Macquarie-Hastings councillor Josh Slade attended the Rainbow Beach Sporting Complex recently to discuss concerns with Club President Tami Ray and Secretary Sinead McKechnie.

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LCNC were the new kid on the block last year when they joined Port Macquarie-Hasting Netball Association, entering one non-competitive and seven competitive teams.

All competitive teams made the finals, with five sides playing grand finals.

This year, based on its early success, the club has doubled in size and continues to grow.

However, the facilities available to the club have not.

“LCNC currently have access to a single court to train on, however by 5pm all training must stop as there is no lightning and it is too dark for the teams to continue,” Ms Ray told News Of The Area.

“Not only is this a safety issue on court but there are several children who need to return to OOSH, the after school care program located on the school grounds after training, and currently the only option is for the OOSH staff to walk to and from the netball court with the younger children in complete darkness.”

To address the issue, Lake Cathie Public School Principal Jack Garben offered use of the school hall so LCNC has a space for training.

However, LCNC can only access the school hall twice a week, as other local services use the hall on the other nights.

“It is problematic trying to manage a time for all the teams to be able to use the inside facilities of the school hall so that everyone is able to at least train once a week,” Ms McKechnie said.

Cr Josh Slade, who chairs the Port Macquarie-Hastings Sports Council, shares the club’s concerns over safety issues and lack of facilities.

“When the Council’s strategic plan was established the LCNC was not in existence,” he said.

“Moving forward it would be in everyone’s best interest to ensure the facilities continue to grow, providing a safe and adequate space to best support the players and community members of the LCNC.”

Cr Slade noted the availability of State and Federal grants to support women in sport, suggesting this could be a starting point for LCNC, with the support of Council.

A Port Macquarie-Hastings Council spokesperson told News Of The Area, “Council has undertaken detailed design for the lighting of the Rainbow Beach netball/multi-use hard court, as well as other additional multi-use hard courts at this facility.

“It has always been Council’s intention to provide lighting and additional courts for Rainbow Beach as part of the delivery of stage 2 of this project.

“We do, however, require external funding support to achieve this.”

Council is currently awaiting an outcome from a funding application to the NSW Government via the Play our Way Grant program.

If successful, Council would co-contribute a portion of the cost towards the installation of lights and additional hard courts.

“We have, and would continue to encourage the Lake Cathie Netball Club, to also seek additional funding for lighting to enhance the likelihood of a successful funding outcome,” the spokesperson said.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council manages 21 sporting complexes, one of which is the Rainbow Beach Sporting complex and associated facilities, which is the sixth priority on Council’s list of strategic sporting infrastructure projects.


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