Club has no lux in new lights push
Geographe Bay Football Club members are missing out on opportunities and players are turning away because a lack of lighting has rendered the Bovell Park grounds unplayable at night.
The club’s two original lights were damaged by a lightning strike in April and are yet to be replaced by the City of Busselton under insurance.
Club president Chris Turner said initial advice was insurance would not cover replacements, and then that the pitch would be lit before 2019.
“Almost 12 months have gone by, and we’re still waiting,” he said.
“This has had a negative impact on our club. Players and parents are going elsewhere.”
Further exacerbating the club’s woes are the “mixed messages” surrounding its attempt to get two additional lights at the grounds, which is shared by the local hockey club. Mr Turner said advice from a City officer suggested a joint application with the hockey club for grant funding would be supported.
However, GBFC has now been advised the application will not be supported under the City’s Sport and Recreational Facilities Strategy. Mr Turner said the club was “disgruntled”. “We’re trying to grow our sport,” he said.
“We have the best pitch in the South West but it’s not being used.”
Bovell Park is widely regarded as one of the best pitches in the league.
The club would like to hold night games at the venue, which would require four lights.
The adult women’s team last year won the reserves league and have been promoted to the Premier League, but they must share Churchill Park with rivals Busselton City Football Club for training.
City community and commercial services director Naomi Searle said the lights were being replaced on a like-for-like basis, but there were alternative options available to the club.
“The GBFC was advised that should they wish to contribute towards the project by either upgrading the light lux or with two additional lights, the City would investigate and obtain quotes for these options,” she said.
The City is preparing a Sport and Recreation Facilities Strategy, which will examine the region’s sport and recreation infrastructure needs.
The strategy is planned to be completed towards the end of this year.
Ms Searle said it would be “financially prudent” to await the strategy’s recommendations before committing to capital works projects “that might not be required in the future”.
The City would not be drawn on the club’s claims of mixed messages.
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