HOPEFUL: Salisbury Athletics club members (from left)
Adrian Pounsett, Alicia Reinke, Charlee Boxall, Nicole
McKenna and Amie Blanden at the old Bridgestone site.
New running track a pain in the grass
by Rob Greenwood
19 Oct 11
A SYNTHETIC running track must be built at the new $8 million Salisbury sports hub or the local athletics club say they might as well stay where they are.
Salisbury Council last week endorsed an athletics, rugby league and touch football centre for the old Bridgestone site on Frost Rd, which was donated to it when the tyre factory closed in 2009.
However, Salisbury Amateur Athletics Club president Adrian Pounsett said the club would resist the council’s plan to relocate to the new complex, unless the proposed grass running track was replaced by a competition-standard synthetic surface.
“We’re not going to get anything more than what we’ve got at the moment,” Mr Pounsett said.
“Grass tracks are muddy and sloppy and dangerous (in wet weather).
“We’d prefer to stay where we are.”
The council’s Sports, Recreation and Grants Committee considered three options for the 7ha site.
The committee endorsed two rugby league fields, which would also be used for touch football, as well as the grass athletics track, 410 carpark spaces, clubrooms and two wetlands.
Mr Pounsett said another of the options, a $10.2 m complex featuring an eight-lane synthetic running track, would deliver the state’s only international standard athletics centre besides Santos Stadium.
“On a grass track, you’re not going to have people qualifying for state championships or national championships and you won’t get Olympic athletes competing there. But we would be state leaders if they put a rubber (synthetic) track in.”
Mr Pounsett said the club’s membership had dropped from more than 100 four years ago, to just 50 last year due to its ageing dolomite track at Salisbury South, which could only be used for training.
A council spokeswoman said it recommended the grass track to avoid the initial cost of the synthetic track and its likely renewal every 10 years.
The spokeswoman said the endorsed option would allow more clubs to be located at the “sporting hub” and attract regional, state and national sporting events.
She said the council would produce a detailed study on the complex, which would be presented to elected members in July.