HUNTLY Football-Netball Club hopes new floodlights will ease pressure on the club to co-ordinate weekly training and matches for more than 1000 players at junior and senior level.
The Victorian Coalition promised $150,000 for the lights at Strauch Recreation Reserve, to be combined with council or club funding for the total cost of $300,000.
The lights could also open up the potential for a twilight grand final in the Heathcote District Football League.
Huntly club president Sam Walker said upgraded lighting was a priority for the club, and would help them to grow as a club with more people moving to the area.
“Having the match lights will light up the whole oval. At the moment we have some dark pockets and it’s quite dangerous the amount of kids on here all at the same time, they can’t actually see what they’re doing,” he said.
“Having families come to put their kids into football, at the moment they’re trying to get away from work at 4 o’clock to beat the night, so if we have lights they can knock off at appropriate hours so I think it will entice more families to come here.
“There’s a lot of subdivisions happening in Huntly at the moment with very small or no backyards so it will get used quite well.”
The club plans to move some junior games to Friday night, freeing up more space on Saturday and then Saturday evening for senior teams.
Mr Walker said it would also strengthen the club’s case to host further HDFL grand finals.
Liberal candidate for Bendigo East Ian Ellis met with the club recently, and lobbied for the funding which would be delivered if the Coalition wins the election on November 24.
He said it would have benefits for the wider Huntly community.
“They were looking at ways of upgrading their facilities, and this is a good upgrade,” Mr Ellis said.
“Children, night games, if the facilities can be utilised to the best that they can be used, that’s a benefit to the community.”
Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said Labor had “massively” increased funding for sporting facilities across Bendigo, and that they were “going further” in Huntly by reopening the railway station.
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