All ACT Government irrigated sports grounds will be closed from today Monday (17 September) for two weeks to undergo repairs and maintenance.
During the shutdown period, all ACT Government irrigated natural turf sportsgrounds will be closed and unavailable for formal hire, allowing much-needed maintenance to be carried out.
The ACT Government manages approximately 280 hectares of irrigated sportsgrounds across 126 separate sites in the ACT and each of these grounds host regular training and competitions year round.
The Director of City Presentation, Stephen Alegria, said the annual spring sportsground renovation program focuses on repairing surfaces damaged by the winter sport season and on giving grounds a much-needed break prior to the start of summer competition.
“The summer season is always busy for sportsgrounds in the ACT with a range of sporting groups and individuals getting great use out of our ovals, which is why we need to undertake these essential maintenance works to ensure the grounds are in good condition,” Mr Alegria said.
“Regular users of our sportsgrounds understand the importance of the ground restoration work we undertake twice each year, and once completed, sportsground surfaces will be safe, sustainable and fit-for-purpose, ready to host summer sports such as cricket, softball and baseball.”
The program includes applying fertiliser to assist turf growth coming out of winter dormancy and to re-establish turf density prior to summer competitions commencing. Other restoration activities include aeration, top dressing of worn and uneven areas and over-sowing of bare or sparse areas to achieve an even turf cover.
Daytime irrigation of sportsgrounds is likely to also be undertaken to help establish new grass seeds that have been planted.
Goal posts will be removed from the majority of winter sportsgrounds as they sit in the outfield area of summer sports, and back nets will be installed on grounds where softball and baseball are played. Crease markings on cricket wickets will also be re-surveyed and marked prior to the start of the cricket season and athletics facilities will have long jump pits topped up with sand.
Mr Alegria said there are some exemptions to the shutdown period with teams training for finals and also for gridiron competition and training, which does not align with the standard winter and summer sport seasons.
ACT Schools have been notified of the shutdown period and are asked where possible to limit the use of ACT Government sportsgrounds during this time.
Sportsgrounds will reopen on 1 October.