By ZAC MILBANK
Stage 1 of the highly-anticipated Western Districts’ Sports Club development was unveiled in front of a bumper crowd on Kangaroo Island on Saturday.
As local club the Western Districts Saints defeated Wisanger on the field, off it their were plenty of smiles from more than 350 people in attendance at the Gosse Oval.
Four new Ausco changerooms, catering for both the Western Districts’ football and netball clubs, are the feature of the Stage 1 build.
The Western Districts’ Sports Club was destroyed by the devastating Black Summer bushfires in late 2019/early 2020, with the AFL, Cricket Australia and State Government unifying for a three-way funding partnership for the rebuild.
”It was fantastic day for Western Districts and the wider Kangaroo Island sporting community to see Stage 1 of the rebuild unveiled,” SANFL Infrastructure Manager Belinda Marsh said.
”Sport is a vital vehicle for rural communities to come together to not only stay healthy but socialise on a regular basis and this is no exception for the people of Kangaroo Island.
”We are looking forward to Stage 2 commencing later this year.”
SANFL Infrastructure Manager Belinda Marsh
''Sport is a vital vehicle for rural communities to come together to not only stay healthy but socialise on a regular basis and this is no exception for the people of Kangaroo Island.''
Stage 2 will include a rebuild of the Western Districts’ club rooms at a cost of approximately $4m, with the club room to connect to the changerooms to deliver a functional modern facility.
The AFL’s Community Relief Fund has contributed a total of $1.47m to the entire project, with SANFL to continue its involvement on the Rebuild Project Control Group which is overseeing the project.
“The support the club has received by way of donations, grants, and sponsorship has been humbling,” Western Districts Sports Club President Greg Bald told the Islander newspaper.
“The club was insured, but there was no way we could rebuild what was destroyed with just insurance money.
“Saturday’s opening had a great crowd of footballers and netballers from Western Districts and Wisanger Sports Club, along with their supporters to hear from State Government, SANFL and AFL, and SACA and Cricket Australia.
“Our particular thanks to Lisa Faraci and Belinda Marsh from SANFL, Amber Koster from AFL and Alica Clutterham from SACA, who have been amazing supporters of the club, sport and junior development on Kangaroo Island.”
SANFL will continue to support all five sports clubs on Kangaroo Island, including Kingscote as it begins its quest to seek funding to redevelop its pavilion and change rooms.
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