Hamilton Kangaroos light up with plan for night Anzac Day game in 2015

AN ANZAC Day match under lights is on Hamilton Kangaroos Football Netball Club’s agenda for 2015.

The club yesterday revealed it wanted to flick the switch on a new era in Hamilton sport after the federal government announced $125,000 to help fund a major lighting upgrade at Melville Oval.

Kangaroos secretary Marcus Lowerson said the grant would fund about “a quarter” of the cash needed to replace existing light towers and ramp up lighting at the ground.

“We want to do something positive for the town. We also want to make the ground suitable for a whole lot of other groups.”

He said the club wanted both the oval and netball court playing surfaces to be floodlit to a standard suitable for competition.

Lowerson said the Kangaroos’ netballers rarely trained at their home ground because of a lack of quality lighting.

“It will mean we can play night footy and netball matches,” he said. “We are working on a plan to get that happening and at this stage we are looking for it be finished for the start of the 2015 season. We want to make 2015 Anzac Day our first one.”

Lowerson said former clubs Hamilton and Hamilton Imperials had both talked about the need for better lights but the merged entity of the Kangaroos was keen to bring the project to fruition.

“We want to do something positive for the town. We also want to make the ground suitable for a whole lot of other groups.”

The Kangaroos would become only the second Hampden league club to play regular night fixtures behind Cobden should the plan proceed.

The shire has been working with the club on a study looking at what would be needed to ready the ground for night matches.

 That study, including the scope of the works and costs, is expected to be completed early next year. 

The shire, which is yet to commit funds to the project, would then assess its support.

It allocated $7500 this financial year for the study and hopes design works on the light towers would begin after Christmas.

Wannon MP Dan Tehan yesterday announced $125,000 from the government’s newly-established community development grants program for the lighting upgrade.

“This is an important upgrade that will enable Melville Oval to be utilised for extra activities such as underage football on Friday nights and night cricket games,” Tehan said.

“It will also improve training conditions for footballers and netballers and help increase participation in sport.”

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