Outdoor courts at the home of netball in South Australia will be upgraded to improve the playing surface and safety for thousands of netballers, thanks to a $658,654 grant from the State Government.
The funding will help Netball SA resurface 26 outdoor courts and install new court lighting, goal posts and post protectors at Netball SA Stadium.
Netball has been growing in popularity in South Australia on the back of the success of the Adelaide Thunderbirds. Last year, Netball SA Stadium had about 90,000 junior and senior grass roots players come through its facility and more than 125,000 spectators and officials.
Netball is ranked as the leading women’s participation sport and is the top team based sport in Australia for 15 to 24 year olds.
The four indoor and 26 outdoor courts cater for grassroots right through to the Thunderbirds for training and competition all year round.
The funding is part of the 2013/14 round of Special Purpose Grants, which will see around $4 million shared between more than 100 sport and recreation projects across the State.
Netball SA has more than 32,000 registered participants, 39 associations, 10 regional academies and 320 affiliated clubs and every week thousands of girls play on the outdoor courts at Netball SA Stadium.
Each Saturday during the winter competition, more than 7,000 people come through the stadium either as a player or spectator and another 3,488 players on the outdoor courts each Saturday.
"New all-weather acrylic coating on the outdoor courts will assist in the playing experience and longevity of the surface," said Netball SA Chief Executive Officer Ben Scales.
"The acrylic coating also reduces the severity of grazes and reports also show that the coloured courts assist in attracting new players due to the more attractive appearance.
"The outdoor court lights and goal post protectors will lead to increased safety for players and operating efficiencies for the stadium."
Netball clubs and facilities across SA recently shared $744,000 of State Government funding as part of the 2014/15 Community Recreation and Sport Facilities Program.