By Oliver Lees
The Macedon Ranges basketball community is asking for federal funding to complete the highly anticipated Macedon Ranges Regional Sports District (MRRSP), as growing demand for court rentals continues to outstrip available facilities.
The MRRSP – originally titled New Gisborne Regional Sports Precinct – has been on the agenda of community sports clubs in the county for some time.
A need for additional sports facilities in the region was first identified during the Macedon Ranges Council Recreation Strategy and Indoor Sports Field Feasibility Study, which took place from 2006 to 2009.
Tamara Collins has championed the riding for several years and has seen the popularity of basketball explode through the father.
Ms Collins said a new Macedon Ranges Basketball Association national junior competition has just started, with 270 junior players registered.
Ms Collins said that while it was exciting to see so much enthusiasm for the sport, the lack of facilities had forced the association to make uncomfortable scheduling choices.
“We’re playing on Sunday afternoon which is a horrible time, but that’s all we could find,” she said.
“The demand is there, [but] the courts are not.
As captain of the newly formed Macedon Ranges Rockies who will play in the Country Basketball League, Tom Scott said it’s not just junior players who need more facilities.
“We would consider [the MRRSP] as the venue for our home games, but if they decide to do it halfway, we’re really going to have a hard time, ”said Scott.
In June of this year, Star Weekly announced that the first stage of work on the project was to begin in April 2022.
The enclosure is estimated at $ 41.4 million, with the state government committing $ 14.8 million. The Macedon Ranges council is expected to contribute $ 10 million.
Macedonian MP Mary-Anne Thomas has launched a petition calling on the federal government to contribute $ 10 million to move the project forward. To date, no federal funding has been confirmed.
Sports Minister Richard Colbeck told Star Weekly that while there is no immediate funding, he would welcome engagement with the local government on the issue.