Players, coaches, officials and families will have something extra to look forward to when East Gippsland United Football Club resumes competition next season.
The club has installed a new irrigation system to improve the playing conditions at Bairnsdale’s Howitt Park.
Local MP Darren Chester said the club had secured a $10,000 grant through the #lovegippsland Stronger Communities Program for the system to improve the surface of its home ground.
“East Gippsland has been severely affected by drought over the last few years and it has left the two playing pitches at Howitt Park in poor condition,” Mr Chester said.
“The installation of new underground irrigation system will ensure the fields are maintained and remain user friendly throughout the playing season and the warmer months.
“The improved surfaces will be something for everyone to look forward to following the cancellation of this year’s senior and junior competition.”
East Gippsland Club President Ben Knight said the new irrigation system would improve safety.
“The current condition of the surface is unacceptable and puts our teams at risk,” Mr Knight said.
“Proper irrigation will ensure the safety of players and umpires and help to drought-proof our pitches.
“As a community sports club we would not be able to complete this work with huge fundraising efforts. This grant ensures we can do the necessary work now before our grounds deteriorate anymore.”
Mr Chester said the Stronger Communities Program provided a welcome boost for community groups and local businesses.
“While this investment is great for the club, it also supports the wider community with local landscaper Tim Hack from GrowMaster undertaking the work,” Mr Chester said.
“It is great to see community organisations working with local businesses and supporting local jobs.”
The Federal Government funding for this project is part of Gippsland’s $150,000 allocation from the #lovegippsland Stronger Communities Program. The program helps community groups to undertake small infrastructure projects or purchase equipment.