FOR more than a decade netballers have been hammering Warrnambool City Council to help put shelters and lights at the Caramut Road court complex where children and parents shiver in the cold.
Now their hopes have risen after a chilly courtside meeting where they asked outgoing mayor Cr Jacinta Ermacora to pick up the ball in their campaign.
Warrnambool City Netball Association leaders explained to her the need for improvements at the 10 outdoor courts where thousands of juniors have played for about 20 years.
“This is where netball careers start and top-level players have gained a grounding,” association president Fran Bell told The Standard.
“Juniors play from February through to December in all conditions except for dangerous hail and lightning. We’d like some shelter and lights to play at night.
“We’ve been trying to get council help for 10 years, but have been knocked back all the time,” she said. “It’s been frustrating, but Cr Ermacora has indicated the council could help.”
Cr Ermacora, who is seeking her third term on council said there had been no significant upgrade of the courts since they were built about 20 years ago.
“The association indicated it was prepared to contribute up to $20,000 for three shelters on six courts and the project was estimated to cost up to $45,000,” she said.
“If I’m re-elected I’ll encourage fellow councillors to support this project.
“There’s a huge number of young children and families who use the courts.”
Cr Ermacora said the association realised new shelters had been provided with recent upgrades to football club netball facilities and wanted similar structures at the edge of courts at the Caramut Road complex.
“This is the kind of infrastructure that is positive in supporting sports participation,” she said.
“The project would likely be eligible for a Sports and Recreation Victoria grant on a two-for-one basis.”