24 April 2018

Election promise fulfilled as Calwell playing fields fitted with LED lighting

| Lachlan Roberts
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Calwell playing fields becomes the first public ACT sports ground fitted with LED lighting. Photo: Capital Football.

The one-all-draw between Capital League opponents Brindabella Blues and ANU FC was not the most important result on Saturday evening.

Instead, it was the fulfilment of an ACT Labor election commitment which will have a more lasting effect.

Calwell playing fields have been illuminated with four new 22-metre light towers with an LED light system, becoming the first public ACT sports ground fitted with LED lighting.

The Saturday twilight match between the Brindabella Blues Football Club (BBFC) and ANU Football Club in the men’s Capital League was the first match played under the newly constructed lights at the Calwell district playing fields.

ACT Minister for Sport, Yvette Berry, said the Government promised new lights for Calwell as part of an investment to improve local sporting facilities.

“This upgrade provides match play lighting for a range of competitions,” Ms Berry said.

“Whether at an elite or social level, the high-quality lighting will provide better visibility to both the players and the fans that watch from the sidelines.”

“Sports in Canberra always draw large participation numbers and crowds and the provision of state of the art lighting at this location helps to meet this demand,” Ms Berry said.

Fully automated, the lighting system can be operated remotely and future works will see it integrated with an online sports ground booking system that the ACT Government is currently developing.

The LED lighting system will be energy efficient, given LED bulbs last longer and will also require less maintenance.

Brindabella Blues president Ken Yalg said the new lights will allow the club to play more twilight games next season.

“The lights are helping us no end. It’s really good because it gives us the opportunity to play night games and it also gives the opportunity for Canberra to play catch up games there as well,” Mr Yalg said.

“It’s not just for us, we have touch football and softball and other sports that can use the lights as well, so it is a real community benefit, which we need a lot more of.”

Mr Yalg said the LED lights would be a huge benefit in seasons to come.

“Next year we are thinking of having 3 pm and 5 pm kickoffs in the first five or six rounds because it gets too cold later in the year,” he said.

“We would normally have to play night matches under lights at Hawker or Woden so this will give us an opportunity to play home games at home.”

Mr Yalg said the club is now looking to bring in a club room to improve the facilities even further.

“We plan to get some facilities down on that particular oval, with change rooms and a canteen so when we have those night games we can run a small barbeque and a cup of coffee for those watching,” he said.

“We have come up with a few ideas but like everything else, it comes down to dollars and cents, probably looking at $100,000.”

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