More work needed to accommodate sports growth

13 Mar 2019

Work is needed to determine how much infrastructure will be needed to accommodate the growth in sports participation across South Australian communities.

Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer said the community was responding strongly to positive messages about health and fitness.

“It’s good that South Australians are increasing their participation in sport,” Ms Downer said. “There are a wide range of benefits to individuals, families, communities and the nation.

“However this growth represents challenges for sport organisations and governments, with space and sport facilities now at a premium.”

Ms Downer said sport organisations and governments needed to come together and plan to accommodate sports participation growth now and in the future.

“Australian Rules football is a great example of this growth,” she said. “The Advertiser this week reported a 17.6% rise in footy participation to more than 200,000 players. Female participation rose 30% in 2018. This is putting pressure on facilities, with the SANFL saying it will need more than 170 new footy grounds in Adelaide by 2026.

“The Marshall State Government is listening to sport organisations and working to address run-down community sports infrastructure while also supporting new facilities. I’ll be advocating for the Liberal National Government to work with sport organisations, councils, communities and the State Government and provide funding for a State-wide needs assessment which canvasses future demand for playing spaces and sports infrastructure, and which optimises utilisation of existing facilities.

“I think there needs to be a particular emphasis on accommodating rising demand for female and family friendly facilities.

“In Mayo, I’m fighting for several projects such as redevelopment of the Willunga Recreation Park, redevelopment of Houghton Oval and a state equestrian centre at Oakbank. The Morrison Government has already delivered support for a range of new or upgraded sport facilities in Mayo such as the Fleurieu Aquatic Centre and the Mount Barker regional sports hub.

“I’ll be doing everything I can to ensure the sport and recreational needs of Mayo communities are met.”