$1.5m expansion

By Zoe McMaugh

The size of the Deniliquin Sports & Entertainment Centre has grown by one third following extensive upgrades.

Now measuring more than 2000m2, an additional 860m2 of floor space was added to the facility to better cater to sporting and social groups.

The $1.5 million extension added four bays to the facility, with 12 now available.

There’s also a new multi-purpose room, new floating timber flooring throughout and fire system and tanks.

Stadium manager John Arthur said all courts include markings to cater for all user groups of the stadium, including basketball, indoor netball, badminton and futsal.

He said artificial turf has also been installed to benefit the gymnastics club, and to allow for the return of a Deniliquin indoor cricket competition.

And the expansion could see more sporting competitions added to the stadium as time goes on.

‘‘The extra court space gives the stadium the potential to host tournaments, as well as boost training capacity for all sports that have used the courts in the past.

‘‘This building will be brick and mortar for many groups for many years to come.

‘‘The gymnastics club is really excited as they have double the space and I’m particularly excited about the indoor cricket facilities too.

‘‘Previously the floor underneath the artificial turf was wooden, but now it will be concrete underneath.

‘‘This means there should be better bounce on the pitch and we’ll also have more tension in the nets, meaning the ball will bounce of the net better as well.’’

Mr Arthur said the Deniliquin Badminton Club was excited to be the first of the user groups to return to the stadium on Monday night, after it was closed at the end of July.  Works started in August, and were completed earlier this month.

Deni Sports Park Inc had been working toward the expansion project for a number of years, and it was kick-started with a grant in 2017.

The $1.5 million extension was made possible by a $503,000 grant from the NSW Club Grants infrastructure funding (June 2017), an additional $540,000 from Edward River Council’s Stronger

Communities major projects program (July 2017) and a further $395,000 from council (May 2019).  The remaining costs were covered by Deni Sports Park Inc.

Deniliquin company B Green Constructions was awarded the project tender.

‘‘It took a great deal of work by a lot of dedicated council staff, contractors, and management committee volunteers, but I think the results speak for themselves,’’ Edward River Mayor Norm Brennan said.

‘‘Creating a safe and welcoming environment for people of all ages to come and keep active all year round and make use of the facilities was really important to us.

‘‘This development supports improvement in the sports provided within the centre already, and allows growth of new sports in the future.’’

An official opening was held at the stadium on Monday night.