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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Athletics complex to be built on Knox Park in Morphett Vale for Southern Athletic Club

Athletics complex to be built on Knox Park in Morphett Vale for Southern Athletic Club

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Athletics complex to be built on Knox Park in Morphett Vale for Southern Athletic Club

By Celeste Villani
Southern Times Messenger
September 17, 2018

A SPORTING complex is set to be built on a vacant Morphett Vale reserve, ending a local athletic club’s marathon effort to bring the sport to the site.

At its last meeting, Onkaparinga Council gave the Southern Athletic Club the go-ahead to use Knox Park, on Main South Rd, both before and after the proposed sportsground’s construction.

The club will now be able to train in one space, rather than being spread across Reynella East College and Aldinga Oval.

Knox Park already has a 400m grass running track.

However, the entire site needed minor civil works, such as an improved turf and irrigation, before it could be used.

Southern Athletic Club president Matt Evans, who has pushed to use the park since December 2016, hoped the club would now become one of the best, and largest, in the state.

Mr Evans first wanted an up-to-scratch running track, but hoped a long jump pit and “throwing facilities” would be part of the new complex.

“It is a big step forward … to allow sporting use at the park and get some use out of that wonderful space,” Mr Evans said.

“We’re aiming to get 200 members this year and getting on to Knox Park is a catalyst for growth.

“Potentially, we could quite easily be the largest athletics club in South Australia and return to our glory days.”

The council agreed to develop a master plan for the proposed sportsground, which would also have room for football, soccer and cricket clubs.

A council report said a complex to accommodate between 400 and 500 users could cost about $1.7 million, but final costs and timings had not been determined.

In February, Onkaparinga Council consulted the local community about allowing Southern Athletic Club to use Knox Park, in Morphett Vale, as its “short-term and possible permanent home”.

Most of the community supported bringing athletics to Knox Park, so the council agreed to change land use from “reserve” to “district sportsground”.

Cr Heather Merritt said at the meeting she hoped bringing athletics to the reserve would boost the sport’s participation and allow the club to retain its top talent.

“The fact that all the coaches will be in one spot will really help the club grow,” Cr Merritt said.

Cr Sandra Brown said a stadium accommodating athletics would benefit the wider community. Schools would not need to travel to Athletics SA stadium in Mile End for sporting events.

A council feasibility study showed there was a demand for football, soccer and cricket grounds in the area because most were already at capacity.

It said by 2028 there would be a shortfall of four football ovals, three cricket grounds and two soccer pitches.

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