17 June 2019

More basketball, futsal and gymnastic facilities to be built in ACT

| Lachlan Roberts
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Basketball ACT

Basketball has seen 21 per cent growth in the last three years. File photo.

Belconnen may soon be home to a new gymnastics training centre and an expanded basketball stadium following an independent report into improving indoor sports facilities across Canberra.

The report, which was completed by Otium Planning Group, specifically focused on facility planning for futsal, basketball and gymnastics and identified Belconnen, Gungahlin and Woden as possible regions for expanded or new indoor sports facilities.

In figures released by the report, Basketball ACT had 8,809 active playing members in 2017 with a 21 per cent growth in the last three years, while gymnastics experienced over 60 per cent growth in the last five years with approximately 5,200 participants in the ACT.

The report said the existing courts at Belconnen Basketball Stadium are at capacity during weekdays and weekends, with Basketball ACT utilising indoor courts at a dozen other venues for training activities.

Basketball ACT indicated that the proposed timeframe to consider any future expansion to its facility would likely be four plus years away once it has improved its current financial position.

According to the report, Gymnastics ACT holds 26 to 28 competitive events across different club venues each year, proposing a state centre to host high-level training and local, regional and higher level competitions.

The University of Canberra may soon be home to a gymnastics state training centre. File photo.

The report also suggested an alternative option would be the development of a new state centre at the University of Canberra, subject to the negotiation of mutually beneficial arrangements with the university.

ACT Sports Minister Yvette Berry said the ACT Government’s response to the report includes “clear and practical action”, with new futsal courts to be built at the new ‘Home of Football’ in Throsby, Gymnastics ACT to scope a new State Training Centre and Basketball ACT to consider expanding its Belconnen facility to accommodate three more courts.

“Canberra is a growing city and one of the most active in Australia,” Ms Berry said. “As our city grows we will need more indoor sporting facilities so people can continue to enjoy participating in the sports of their choice.

Minister Berry said more indoor sports facilities are needed in the growing city. Photo: George Tsotsos.

“The Government will also continue to investigate how to make better use of existing indoor sporting facilities at our public schools.

“Recent improvements at a number of schools across Canberra have provided around 70 additional hours per week of community access to indoor sporting facilities.”

Basketball ACT president Allan Yates said more facilities in the ACT will help unearth the next generation of Australian basketballers and was excited by the partnership with the ACT Government.

“Basketball ACT is excited to partner with the ACT Government to investigate opportunities to expand the provision of basketball facilities in Belconnen,” he said.

“As the popularity of our sport increases, the further provision of facilities will help ensure we can cater for the next generation of Opals and Boomers players.”

Gymnastics ACT chief Bradley Low said the development of a Gymnastics State Training Centre would create significant opportunities to grow their sport in Canberra and said the association is ready to work with the ACT Government to progress the preliminary planning and design requirements for the facility.

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Woden Valley Community Council6:50 pm 17 Jun 19

The Woden Valley Community Council does not support the findings of the Report which does not include a multi-purpose sports stadium for Woden. The report finds:
• Basketball ACT to explore further provision of basketball facilities in the Belconnen region.
• Capital Football on the new ‘Home of Football’ in Throsby, which will include indoor futsal courts, funded in the 2019 Budget
• Gymnastics ACT to scope a new State Training Centre in Belconnen
A multi-purpose sports stadium can Improve physical health, improve the mental health, grow personal development, strengthen our communities and grow the economy in Canberra’s south — providing jobs and activity to the centre of Woden with the flow on benefits to small business.
They also bring people of all ages together and can inspire and motivate individuals while also fostering community pride. The use of school halls does not facilitate the whole community feeling connected to the asset and sporting groups have difficulty with access and storage at school sites.
The demolition of Woden’s basketball stadium has left a shortage of indoor sports facilities for competition and training across the south of Canberra.
Woden is an ideal location for community facilities as it is centrally located and on the north south and east west public transport alignment making it accessible to communities across Canberra
Woden Town Centre has been identified for higher density living and a multi-purpose sports facility contributes to creating a contemporary urban precinct that promotes health and well-being at the grass roots level.

Perhaps any new CIT precinct at Woden should incorporate multi purpose indoor sports halls.

Woden Valley Community Council8:58 pm 17 Jun 19

Maybe, we would need a fairly large central site. We are advocating for the surface car park between the Hellenic Club and the bus interchange. It would require parking to go underground.

I’ve never understood why the government hasn’t looked at purchasing the old Magnet Mart/Home Hardware site in Gungahlin with a view to converting it to either basketball or indoor soccer or any other under roof sport. Seems like it wouldn’t be that difficult a conversion.

Another futsal slab? Please don’t remind us of Andrew Barr’s million-dollar popup folly.

If you’re going to contribute, at least get your facts kinda close to accurate. Barr was still in nappies when the futsal slab was built, and the new facility at Throsby will incorporate a proper indoor facility.

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