Bowral Rugby Club will take local sport into the new millennium with approval to construct a 1500 seat grandstand at Eridge Park.
The ambitious project received unanimous council support and is set to confirm the Blacks’ position as one of the nation’s foremost provincial clubs.
A delighted Club President Val Tyson claimed the project was a major coup for the club and viewed it as a natural progression for the burgeoning Blacks.
“This development will bring our facilities into line with our performance on the field,” he said.
“The grandstand will make Eridge Park the premier sporting ground in the shire and will benefit a whole range of sports.”
Currently six different sports utilise the complex and Tyson hopes the establishment of the stand will act as a major drawcard for larger sporting events.
“With our proximity to Sydney and with the facilities we can now provide, means we can provide international standard rugby,” he said.
“NSW Country play a touring international team every year and we must now be a real chance of getting a percentage of those fixtures.
“The rugby club has been here for 28 years and we have spent a lot of money on the facilities during that time.
“We can’t rely on Council to move us forward and the club’s continued success is more good management rather than good luck.”
The 1500 capacity stand was acquired from the Ryde Aquatic Centre and was used during the water polo competition at the Olympics.
“It was a massive job to erect the stand and the scale of it was amazing,” Blacks vice-president Paul Redden said.
“The stand has a huge scope of use and we’ve had enormous support from all the other sporting codes.
“We hope it will last us for the next 50 years and it is certainly a major boost to the club.”
So significant in fact that the club was actually offered to host the NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies clash set down for early February.
And despite having to reject the offer due to ongoing construction, the offer augurs well for potential top class rugby coming to the Highlands in the future.
“That goes for any of the respective sporting codes,” Redden said.
“They now have a facility where they can cater for a higher standard of competition.
“There are buckets of kids playing sport in the Highlands and last year in the rugby club alone there were 160.
“A conservative estimate is about 5-7 percent growth every year in the junior participation rate.”
As you would expect, the whole process has been a team effort throughout every step and done in a spirit that typifies the club that won the Rugby Club of the Year last year.
“We went down to Ryde with 30 players, a day and a whole heap of beer,” Redden said.
“We’ve actually had the intention to do some work for the past two years so once we got the building fund in place we went ahead.”
If the foresight and the professionalism of the Bowral Blacks counts for anything, there’s no doubt our shire’s sporting future is in good hands.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.