Geoff Simmons, Pat Battersby, Danny Wilson, Jim Simmons, Jenni Martin and George Priddle join Mayor Richie Williamson to help raise $100,000 for the Maclean Sports Centre being built at Wherrett Park.
Geoff Simmons, Pat Battersby, Danny Wilson, Jim Simmons, Jenni Martin and George Priddle join Mayor Richie Williamson to help raise $100,000 for the Maclean Sports Centre being built at Wherrett Park.

Sports centre needs more aid

MACLEAN’S many years without an indoor sporting complex are finally drawing to a close.

For three years, the Clarence Valley town has been deprived of indoor facilities since its former centre, which was privately owned, was sold.

However, signs of life can now be seen at the new $3.1 million Maclean Sports Centre at Wherrett Park.

The concrete slabs have been poured and the framework erected for what will be an international-standard recreation centre upon its expected completion in November.

Maclean Sports Centre committee member Pat Battersby said the multipurpose, two-level centre would house facilities for basketball, netball, indoor cricket and futsal, three squash courts and dressing rooms for the Barry Watts Oval on its ground level.

Upstairs the space will include a kiosk area and a veranda for viewing sport – including soccer, cricket and athletics – on the oval.

A Federal Government grant of $2 million and another of $1 million from Clarence Valley Council will see the centre almost through to completion by contractors Lahey Constructions, however, Mr Battersby said the committee was seeking contributions from the local community for a shortfall of $100,000 to fit out the centre.

“We will be sourcing funds from wherever we can,” he said.

The Maclean Rotary Club, which has partnered with the committee, will manage the remaining funds.

Mr Battersby said the committee had plans to raise money via selling bricks for the building, with contributors to be recognised on an honour board.

A ball, as well as the likes of sausage sizzles, were other fundraising ideas, with Mr Battersby hopeful the community would throw its weight behind the development.

“This is a major project for the Lower Clarence,” he said.

“Everyone recognises the importance of getting this complex built.”

Mr Battersby said the 1200 students at Maclean High School would be some of the greatest beneficiaries once the centre opens.

“They’ve been without a lot of facilities,” he said.

“They were big users of the (old) complex.”

However Mr Battersby said everyone in the town would benefit.

“We see it not only as a sporting project – it’s a community project,” he said.

“It’s a major thing for young and old. Maclean has always been a very sporty town. There have been a lot of people a bit lost for things to do.”

Committee chair and owner of Maclean’s former sports complex, Ross McPherson, agreed the new centre would be ‘great for the town’.

“I knew how much it (the old complex) would be missed and is missed,” Mr McPherson said.

Clarence Valley Council Mayor Richie Williamson described the centre as a ‘wonderful opportunity’ for the Lower Clarence.

“However, it still needs the support of the community to raise the shortfall in funds,” Cr Williamson said.

Contact the Cane Growers’ office for information on how to contribute.

Phone 6645 2515.



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