Let there be light at Stawell's North Park

Two years of planning, negotiations and hard work has culminated in the successful installation of new lighting at Stawell's North Park Oval.

The new lights at North Park.

The new lights at North Park.

The modern equipment provides benefits that extend to beyond those of sporting clubs, with keen interest to come from the wider community.

CKS Swifts president Robert Carey heaped praise on council, Stawell businesses and the local community, which without their support, construction and installation of the lights would not have been possible.

"The support from the community has been outstanding," Mr Carey said.

"Some of the amounts and in kind donations that were contributed to the project were big, we are talking thousands of dollars and for local businesses to contribute that amount of money was just excellent.

"This really is a project that has been driven by the community and one that will benefit them into the future."

The four 25 metre tall light poles with four lights attached that now adorn the North Park Oval are easily accessible to the public.

"They're probably not quite good enough to host senior matches, but we now have the real possibility that in the future the under 13 juniors could return to North Park to play their matches under lights," Mr Carey said.

"They are the most modern lights and the impact they have on the ground is equivalent to, if not more than what the lights at Central Park do, because there are no shadows."

The new lighting will provide an opportunity for the Stawell Swifts Football and Netball Club to extend its training times.

Previously footballers could only train on a small section of the oval due to insufficient lighting.

The new lights are well above the minimum training standards and will enable players to utilise the entire playing surface.

CKS Swifts joint coach Ben Martin said the improved training environment has been reflected partly in the on field results experienced in season 2014.

"We now have access to the whole ground, we are able to train away from the clubrooms where as before we were limited," he said.

"We can do full ground drills which means there are no excuses at training, if it is a good kick the players can be expected to mark the ball.

"This also gives us the opportunity to play a future pre-season practice match under lights."

The North Park lights upgrade was, in its initial stages, pushed forward by Marc Brilliant with further planning and help from Northern Grampians Shire Council staff Nic Murphy, Carolyn Trowell, Tony Dark and councillor Murray Emerson turning the vision into a reality.

Stawell Swifts Football and Netball Club has extended its thanks to sponsors IB & SG Barham, Middendorp, Eck's Electrics, Westlift Crane Hire, Stawell Bobcat and Excavations, Warren Earthworks, Stawell Freighters, Northern Grampians Shire Council, Carey Covers, Armstrong Concrete Stawell, CKS Engineering and MCG Quarries Group.


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