Ballarat Basketball along with other key indoor sports netball and badminton continue to work hard to convince both the Victorian Government and State Opposition of the merits and urgent needs of our expansion plans.
Over the past three months we have had the opportunity to meet and present to senior Ministers and Shadow Ministers along with the local candidates for the upcoming state election.
It is pleasing that, on the basis of our presentations and the independent reports presented to Government and Council, the fact that more courts are needed is accepted as clearly demonstrated. The Ballarat Regional Capital Plan released by the City of Ballarat in December 2013 outlined Council’s priorities for the State Election also validated our position and needs.
We have also been fortunate to gain support from the Committee for Ballarat and Ballarat Regional Tourism for the need for Ballarat to remain competitive with other regional centres by taking the opportunity to build more courts into a modern Indoor Sports Centre, capable of hosting a range of international and national level sports events and other major events requiring stadia seating for up to 3,000 people.
On behalf of the 7,250 members it represents, the Ballarat Indoor Sports Group which represents Basketball, Netball and Badminton at both the regional and state levels continues to push for firm commitments from both major parties for a $15 million contribution to the $21 million project.
We would like thank the State Opposition for its commitment to provide $9 million for this major facility upgrade at the Wendouree Sports & Events Centre (WSEC) should it win Government. This helps to complete part of our vision, especially for local community use and growth and to address the chronic shortage of suitable indoor facilities for basketball and netball within the Ballarat area. At present there are not enough courts to cater for current demand let alone any future anticipated growth in these sports.
The announcement will also allow Ballarat Basketball’s junior and senior representative teams including the Miners and Rush (Ballarat’s only representative teams competing on the national stage in any sport) to have access to their own home court for training sessions and as a home base.
Ballarat Netball’s senior representative team the Sovereigns will also get the benefit of a fully compliant home court for its operations. The Indoor Sports Centre proposal added significant weight to the license bid and helped retain a licence for Western Victoria.
We will continue to push for funding for the full vision and scope of works required to provide Ballarat with a competitive national standard Indoor Sports Centre.
Our municipality has fallen behind Bendigo, Geelong, Kilsyth, Dandenong and Knox in terms of a signature indoor sports venue capable of hosting major events. We are beginning to miss out on opportunities because of inadequate major event facilities.
This means we risk the loss of feature national events which we rely heavily on to profile our sports in the region.
Even more significantly the Ballarat economy loses out on the sports event tourism dollar and local traders will feel a significant impact as we lose our share of major events.
The proposed WSEC Regional Indoor Events Centre includes a six court expansion to the facility, plus an integrated sports house which also includes all the functional administration and operational amenities needed for a major indoor regional sports centre. Additional space has been reserved in the Masterplan for a further 3 courts.
Retractable seating for 3,000 people is also essential for realising the full economic benefits for Ballarat and the region that will flow from the construction of such a significant complex.
We would encourage all our clients, members and sponsors to give their support to this very worthwhile community development.
for Ballarat Indoor Sports Group.