Update for Peter Lakey
Riverside Park Reserve Update
Firstly my apologies for not updating everyone sooner, but to be quite honest, in regards to the rebuilding program at the Newbridge Recreation Reserve, there has been no physical activity up until now. This means of course, that it has now been over nine months since the flood devastated our facilities, and it has had a huge physcological impact on us all, having to look at the ruins every Tuesday and Thursday night during that period. I am now extremely elated to report that demolition is well under way and it is a great relief to see some physical on ground work actually underway. - YAY!!!!
This doesn't mean that nothing has been happening as the behind the scenes action has been frantic. Getting the design right and agreed to by all, having all the permits in place and acceeding to the demands of all the relevant bodies have just been some of the matters attended to by our footy and netball club and the community. Since we were ready to push the whole thing over three days after the flood, I think we should be given great credit for out patience. There has been a lot of input from user groups and the community which has been drawn together and now, thankfully, a steering committee comprising nine representative persons will see the project through to its conclusion. This committee will meet every two weeks. The user groups and the community, due to the untiring efforts and persistance of our treasurer Dean Gordon, have managed to put together a financial contribution to the project which is quite significant for such a small community and other funding has been applied for and the confidence is high that it will be forthcoming. We remain very grateful to those who have contributed and continue to contribute to this cause. THANK YOU.
Along with the new facility, other improvements are proposed to the reserve in the near future, some of which are a direct result of the flood. Due to the persistence of our President Ron Trimble, two magnificent new netball courts, including lighting, have been completed and the girls took great delight in training on them for most of the year. A new pop up sprinkler system to replace the old flood irrigation will be installed on the oval, due to a (would you believe) "drought proofing of recreation reserves" grant through our local Loddon Shire. This will be a huge boost to our volunteers as it will be a much simpler and less time consuming task to water the oval and save an estimated 30% of water. A WIN WIN situation. We understand also that as a result of some disaster relief money becoming available, the four tennis courts are going to be replaced. This will surely make the Newbridge Recreation Reserve a place where people will want to come to and use on a regular basis.
A matter that will take much of our attention in the weeks to come is the development of a business plan for the new Multi Function Facility. The footy and netball club see this as absolutely vital for the future of the facility so we are getting on the front foot to make this happen. The meetings will be facilitated by an independent person well versed in such matters and hopefully in a reasonably short time we will have this plan in place.
At our last footy and netball club meeting, we resolved to again play our home games at Newbridge. We believe that in the best case scenario, the new facility may not be ready until mid season, but that the club cannot affort to be away from its home environment for another season for a whole variety of reasons. We have been able to source some money to set up temporary facilities at the reserve for season 2012 and planning is well in hand to make that occur. While these facilities will not be state of the art, they will be comfortable and functional enough to get us through the season if need be. We have set ourselves a task, but we are confident we will achieve what we set out to do.
Our Presidents Ron (Football) and Mandy Dixon (Netball), along with our treasurer Dean Gordon, have shown great leadership through this past nine months or so, and although they give enormous credit to their band of committed and determined volunteers, it would not have been possible without them. Ron continues to be in demand media wise, with his latest effort being attendance at the Brownlow Medal count which I'm sure most of you will have noted. Ron said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and he enjoyed the experience immensely. They certainly don't do things by halves in the A.F.L.
Our Club has also deemed it appropriate, since it has received so much support from other, to try to give a bit back. With this in mind players and committee assisted with the Reclink Country v's Metro game (part of mental health week) on October 12th in Bendigo. We supplied goal and boundary umpires, trainers, water carriers and people to run the BBQ lunch as well as generally cheering the country team on to a good win. Reclink runs a footy program for disadvantaged people in the community and a former player Chris Lakey coaches the local "Bendigo Victory" side and was appointed coach of Vic Country so it was appropriate to offer support.
Everyone enjoyed the experience and a good win to Vic Country didn't hurt.
Our footy and netball season was not as good as hoped, but we did eventually get a C Grade netball and U17 football to the grand finals, but results didn't go our way.
We look forward to better things in the exciting times ahead.