By Jake Anson
Several Brisbane community clubs are kicking goals leading into the 2019 season thanks to summer support from AFL Queensland’s Sports Turf Unit.
Sports Turf Manager, Chris Dalton, declared the current summer has been their busiest yet, with major remediation projects delivered at Coorparoo, Mt Gravatt, Sherwood, Wilston Grange and Bond University.
“This summer’s work comes on the back of a big summer last year where Morningside underwent a major turf renovation to rid it of all undesired grass species while Sandgate and Aspley underwent full oval re-builds,” Dalton said.
“The latter was recognised nationally as a best-practice example in design and delivery.”
The Unit was established in 2006 to provide South-East Queensland clubs with turf maintenance support and to help educate club volunteers on best-practice management of their ovals.
The Unit presently aids 25 clubs annually with everything from major oval renovations to managing installation of new goal posts, fences and irrigation systems.
“Footy participation has boomed in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast over the past decade, to the point where many clubs must prepare ovals for up to 1,000 players in club competitions, Auskick and AFL 9s,” Dalton said.
“This places stress on ovals and volunteers and our team work hard to help clubs manage match and training loads and keep their ovals safe to play on.”
AFL Queensland’s Sports turf Unit has been lauded by key Council and Government partners as a practical example of a sport’s governing body helping grassroots clubs.
Each year the Unit helps many junior clubs and schools with minor field renovations and support with small projects such as installing AFL goal posts.
Western Magpies’ Director of Infrastructure & Grounds, Chris Dennis, was effusive in his praise of the Unit’s work.
“Chris and his team helped us secure the Council and State funding to enable the project to go ahead and the works are nearly finished,” Dennis said.
“They are installing our new fence and goal posts and have helped us with nets and coaches’ boxes.
“It’s a big challenge maintaining an oval to State League standard and our club is thankful for the support that Chris and his team provide”.
Club volunteers who are interested in learning more about AFL Queensland’s Sports Turf Unit can contact Chris Dalton via firstname.lastname@example.org