Sunday, February 25, 2024

Coffs to freeze winter sport fees

Coffs Harbour City Council will freeze grass sportsground hire fees during the winter season to help local sports clubs recover from the impact of the long and unprecedented rain being experienced along the NSW coast.

Council already heavily subsidises the cost of grass sportsground hire, with hire fees representing only around 10% of the actual maintenance and running costs.

In a statement, Council said it will apply a 33% discount on grass fields it manages for the first two months of the six-month winter season, in recognition of the weather disruption. It will also provide assistance to local football to extend its season into October, it said.

“Since opening the Coffs Coast Synthetics at the Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Park in February, we’ve seen around 370 bookings with 98% being by local sports and schools. Plus, we’ve also hosted some key major events there already,” said Council’s Group Leader City Prosperity, Dan Heather.

“While it’s great to see such demand, we have to be mindful that we have to give all codes and groups a fair share of Council facilities.

“We do prioritise international, national and regional events at facilities like the C.ex Coffs International Stadium and Coffs Coast Synthetics over local events, but there are sound economic and community reasons for that.

“Such events bring more than $30m on average every year into the local economy. That money helps us provide more and better facilities for the community as a whole, but they also have another very important role and that is to inspire and drive local young players to pursue their own sporting dreams by being able to see their sporting heroes in person.

“The Coffs Coast is very lucky to have so many passionate clubs that offer so many opportunities for kids and adults to enjoy their chosen sports,” said Ms Heather.

Council’s role is to continue to help support those clubs and the community by seeking every opportunity to improve the city’s sports offerings, she said.

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