Who are we?
We are the local sporting clubs of the inner-west across football, cricket, rugby union, Little Athletics, netball and other sports.
We are the hundreds of volunteers. Our club's have the thousands of mums and dads, and their thousands of children that play active sports each week. And they have the thousands of friends and their families that care about the local community and what the State Government does on sporting facilities, child care, hospitals and all other aspects of their daily lives.
We are all concerned that the massive new Bays Precinct housing plan - possibly 16,000 new dwellings and 32,000 new residents, will be done without giving us the necessary sporting facilities. And this is before all the other large housing plans across the City of Sydney and inner-west at a time when there is a 40-plus sporting fields shortage according to Recreational Needs Studies by City of Sydney and Leichhardt Councils done in 2007 - which are already out of date.
We were worried about the State Government ignoring the community before the March State election when Mike Baird's Planning and Sports Ministers declined to even acknowledge our requests for meeting. And when Opposition Leader Luke Foley declined to support our requests to support a minimum of 7 sporting fields.
In November 2015, the plans for the Bays Precinct were finally revealed. And our request for a minimum of at least 7 new sporting fields and associated infrastructure has been completely ignored. Not one mention of any plans for sporting fields in the 85 hectares of public owned open space.
Our Sporting Alliance wants all our 20,000-plus members, their families and the local community to make their voice heard to convince Mike Baird to change his strategy and not let us down.
It is well documented that sport and recreation activity can provide improved social, health, educational and cultural outcomes for all. Sporting clubs have a huge impact on local communities - people who would otherwise never meet, children who may not meet other children from other schools. do so through local clubs.
It is a compelling economic argument to provide active open space to avert the impact on future State budgets from higher health spending due to our community lacking facilities for exercise from organised recreational sporting activities. We have a major health crisis looming with issues around childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes and associated health issues connected with a lack of physical activity already.
And without the facilities needed in the Bays Precinct development, new residents wanting sport and recreation would only put further pressure on the inner-west’s existing facilities that are already overused in the most densely populated part of Sydney.
There are serious concerns the State Government may ignoring the needs of the community and a Sporting Alliance (including football, netball, athletics, cricket, rugby union and rugby league) are acting now before it’s too late.
Children and Adults need Spaces to Play.
Glenn Burge - Spaces to Play Convenor & CDSFA Infrastructure Advocate - ph: 0408 700 527
Franco Polistina - Balmain District Football Club
Liza Schaeper - Leichhardt Saints Football Club
Terrence Kelly - Balmain South Sydney Cricket
David Murphy - Balmain Little Athletics
Hamish Collins - Balmain Junior Rugby Union
Ian Holmes - CEO, Canterbury District Soccer Football Association