Grounds Development Proposal 2009 to 2014
Football Wagga Wagga (FWW) in consultation with Wagga Wagga City Council (WWCC) and the member clubs within the city of Wagga Wagga have developed a five year plan that should bring about a significant improvement in the playingsurfaces and hence the enjoyment of the game for all players.
The three way partnership between WWCC, FWW and the member clubs is essential in order to continue to develop the game in Wagga Wagga for the next generation of footballers.
The basis of the five year plan is to develop separate training and playing facilities wherever possible. This ideal has been and will be hampered throughout this planning period by a shortage of suitable playing and training venues. Given this predicament Football Wagga has identified specific playing surfaces that will be developed as ’premier playing facilities’ attracting the bulk of ground development funds in order to optimize outcomes for the players.
Given the rapid growth of junior soccer and the emergence of the Small Sided Game philosophy for players under 10 years of age Bolton Park is currently being utilised as the primary playing venue for our younger players. Historically, Gissing Oval has been the premier playing surface in Wagga Wagga for the older players. This ground has its limitations in that the facility is of insufficient size to have two full size pitches allowing only for one full size pitch and two smaller pitches suitable for competition for 10’s , 11’s and senior girls. Although this ground has been identified as having three pitches that need to be developed to a high standard, its limitations have led Football Wagga Wagga to seek to develop training and playing facilities elsewhere.
After a lot of deliberation and consultation with the soccer community and WWCC , FWW has identified the Rawlings Park complex as the venue best to be developed, as it can provide a number of full size playing pitches as well as 10’s, 11’s and senior girls pitches. At the same time that the above Rawlings Park complex is being developed Duke of Kent oval, Uranquinty oval and Forest Hill oval are also to be developed with the above providing training and playing surfaces.
In addition to the playing surfaces at these venues FWW, WWCC , Clubs and one community progress association [ at Uranquinty] are actively developing amenities blocks, lighting and general facilities at most venues.
In order to fund the ground development program FWW has set aside $15,000 into a ground development trust along with a $2000 annual contribution from each of the in town clubs. This money will be allocated specifically for development of playing surfaces and will be utilised for seed, turf, fertiliser, gypsum, top dressing [and chemical if required] along with labour or contractor costs to facilitate the pitch development.
Proposed development at specific venues
During the foreseeable future FWW plan to utilize this complex for the Small Sided Games competition. This venue provides sufficient space for current needs as well as having potential for the continued expansion of the junior football [if the football numbers continue to grow as they have been doing in Wagga Wagga] over the five year planning period.
Football Wagga Wagga will be developing this complex primarily as a playing facility [but may on occasion be used as a training facility as it has basic lighting] by establishing one full size pitch and two 10’s, 11’s, and senior girls pitch. The facilities block is in need of some maintenance.
This complex has had significant work undertaken already by both the Uranquinty Progress Association and the Uranquinty Football Club. Both these organisations have been proactive in promoting football and developing the complex for their community benefit. Ideally there will be two full size pitches developed here which will be used for both training and playing.
Duke of Kent complex
Currently this facility is not being used due to issues with the availability of water. WWCC is in the process of making available recycled water from the upgraded treatment plant. Once the water is available FWW in consultation with WWCC and Wagga United Football club hope to develop a training pitch with upgraded lighting, two 10's,11's/senior pitches and one full size playing field. This facility will also be used as a training facility for Wagga United Football Club.
WWCC is in the process of requesting plans be drawn and initial costings estimated for a new amenities block at Duke of Kent Oval. This project is currently unbudgeted however and will be subject to further consideration by WWCC for future budget bids. FWW will prioritize the resowing and development of the playing surfaces once water is available utilising funds from the ground development trust that the in town clubs have contributed to.
This facility will be developed as both a training and playing venue. Tolland Football Club will be the primary users of the oval for training of their juniors and seniors. Significant ground and amenities development is required at this facility with all the above needing upgrades. Tolland Football Club in conjunction with WWCC has undertaken a major upgrade of the lighting at the venue throughout 2010. Tolland Football club is also developing plans for an upgrade to the amenities block, although no applications for development or funding have been made to WWCC at this stage.
The quality of the training and playing surface is grossly inadequate for either the clubs needs or the Associations needs, with major drainage works required before playing surface rectification can be optimized. FWW will be working closely with both WWCC and Tolland Football Club to bring about this much needed but major rectification work.
Of all the facilities in Wagga Wagga this complex requires only minimal intervention in that the amenities block is essentially adequate, the canteen facilities are good and the playing surfaces are of reasonable quality. In 2009 Football Wagga Wagga undertook a major refurbishment of the storage area above the canteen establishing an administrative office and storage area. This project has been completed along with the construction of safety nets behind the goals at the northern end of the ground. These two programs were funded by gate takings at Gissing Oval throughout 2008 and 2009.
The playing surfaces have been upgraded with the main playing pitch being resown, top dressed and fertilized in early 2010 with the same program being proposed for the smaller 10’s,11’s/senior girls pitches over the Christmas period 2010. The early signs are indicating that the rectification work on the full size pitch has been quite successful.
This is the largest complex for soccer in the Riverina. However, the size of the amenities block and the condition of the playing surfaces needs significant work. FWW in 2010 will be having plans drawn up to enlarge the amenities block effectively tripling the existing facility with four new change rooms, a referees room and a storage room along with an upgrade to the existing toilet facilities. We are hopeful that during the five year planning period that this amenities facility will be operational, although no funding has been allocated to this project by WWCC at this time. Storage is a major problem at this facility. FWW has applied for permission to locate a large shipping container at the southern end of the complex to store goals and other equipment safely and securely. We are hopeful that this container will be in place in 2010.
In 2009 FWW decided to maximise the number of playing surfaces at this complex and put in an additional three playing fields. The complex now has four full size playing pitches, two 10’s, 11’s/senior girls pitches and two full size training pitches. Two clubs, specifically Lake Albert Football Club and Henwood Park Football Club use the complex for training purposes. Both of the clubs have upgraded their training facilities over recent years and will probably continue to upgrade lighting over the planning period.
Significant funds have been expended in 2010 to improve the quality of the four full size playing pitches with reseeding, fertilizing, and top dressing being undertaken. The two 10’s, 11’s, /senior girls pitches will be targeted for the 2011 season. At the northern end of the complex is an area of vacant land that could be utilised as part of the Rawlings Park complex. FWW propose that this area will contain a full sized artificial surfaced pitch, a parking area and another amenities block. It should be noted that this proposal is very early in the developmental stage and no funds have been allocated to this proposal within the Councils strategic planning.
There is a need for a lot more off street parking at the Rawlings Park complex. WWCC has an additional proposal to develop a parking area at the southern or Angel Street end of the complex, opposite the existing amenities block although again no funds have been allocated to this proposal within Councils strategic planning.
Compiled by Dave O’Grady [Senior Vice President Football Wagga Wagga 2010]
Reviewed by: Rob Sharpe Wagga Wagga City Council Recreation Officer