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Netball Delight Hanlon Park Upgrades

HANLON Park is set for a major overhaul after receiving federal government funding for a major upgrade of its netball facilities, as well as a new football/cricket scoreboard.

The projects will be funded through the federal government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program, announced in July and in which Glenelg Shire Council received $2.273 million to spend on local roads and community infrastructure.

With tenders for the netball project due to be issued yesterday, the council was coy on how much it had budgeted for Hanlon Park.

However, the courts will be resealed and there will also be tiered seating on the Henty St side, a vast improvement on the present situation.

The seating design features three tiers of undercover seating along the south boundary fence and replacing current retaining walls and native vegetation.

It will run along almost the entire length of both courts.

A council spokeswoman said that with the design phase complete, the remainder of the work was, after the awarding of tenders, due to be completed in April 2021 with the aim to minimise impact on the next playing season.

Portland Football Netball Cricket Club netball co-ordinator Lauren Hockley said it was great news for the sport.

“From the Master Plan from 10 years ago this was pretty much the final thing to be done on the netball side and we’re grateful it’s going ahead,” she said.

“Having a bit of cover there on that side of the court from the westerly weather and with a bit of sun to keep you warm will be good.

“Cross fingers we’ll be ready for round one (next year). We’ll look at rescheduling some of the pre-season games.”

This winter’s weather had seen the courts crack badly and expand, rendering them close to unplayable had there been any competition, Ms Hockley said.

“We were looking at having the courts done next year anyway,” Ms Hockley said.

It was likely the retaining wall and vegetation would be removed before the tenders were awarded.

The replacement of the football scoreboard is a separate project, with the 4m by 3m board replacing the existing one, which is about 20 years old.

Club president Troy Bannam said the company that made it was no longer around and it was hard to get parts.

The new board would be a large television screen which would enable a range of uses.

The first of those would be to advertise sponsors and show player profiles, but it could be expanded further – with the Hampden league considering filming all its matches it was possible the action could be streamed, while another use might be for movie nights.

“We’re hoping it’ll be in in the next month to six weeks, but hopefully before Christmas,” he said.

“It will be awesome.”  

The latest projects follow the recent lighting and netball change room upgrades – Mr Bannam said that gave Hanlon Park some of the best facilities in regional Victoria. “Thanks to the council for their support of it, now we’ve just got to try and secure some (players for next season).”.

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