Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has announced more than $1 million in grants secured for Albion Park sporting organisations.

Mr Ward said these grants will provide a major boost to sporting clubs in the north of the Kiama electorate.

“I love working hard and getting things done for local sporting groups.

“Having worked closely with local sporting clubs over many years, I know how important these grants are to ensure we provide the best possible facilities in our region. The drainage upgrades at Keith Grey and Des King Ovals are particularly important given these grounds have become unusable for significant periods due to wet weather.

“The amounts I’m announcing today are simply out of the reach of volunteer sporting clubs and may take years for Councils to be able to afford this level of investment.

The funding comes from the NSW Government Stronger Country Community Fund and includes:

  • $331,376 for the installation of competition level soccer field lighting for the Albion Park Soccer Club;
  • $295,200 for lighting upgrade at Keith Grey Oval;
  • $204,857 for drainage upgrade at Keith Grey Oval; and
  • $200,400 for drainage upgrade at Des King Oval.

Mayor of Shellharbour City Council Clr Chris Homer said: “I’m extremely pleased with this grant funding announcement for these sporting and outdoor recreation facilities in the western region of Shellharbour that was particularly hard hit by record breaking rainfall in 2022 which disrupted all manner of community activity,” he said.

“So a huge ‘Thank You’ to the Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP for securing this funding for upgrades to these wonderful facilities in Albion Park” Mayor Chris Homer said.

Deputy Mayor and Ward A Councillor Kellie Marsh said: “Many of our local sports clubs in Albion Park have endured a really tough time during Covid along with the recent flooding events which made things pretty challenging,” Deputy Mayor Kellie Marsh said.

“I acknowledge and thank our local MP Gareth Ward for hearing our pleas for funding and support – because we love our sport in Albion Park – and we need to do everything we can at all levels of government to work together to find solutions for the local community and in this case to provide wonderful and improved facilities for our local sporting clubs to enjoy the benefits from,” she said.

“This has impacted our local clubs enormously and this funding announcement from the Member for Kiama Gareth Ward today is absolutely fantastic news because it means that we are able to keep local people playing sport at these local facilities in Albion Park”, Clr Marsh said.

Albion Park Cricket Club Secretary Matt Burns said it was extremely welcome news for his local cricket club along with other visiting opposition teams from across the region.

“Over the past decade or so with the growth, more stormwater run-off has built up and become worse and it has negatively affected a lot of our local cricket matches getting washed out or cancelled because of the poor condition of the ground and sadly it had become a bit notorious for that – so this grant funding from Gareth Ward will make such a huge difference for our local cricket club in Albion Park”.

“This upgrade will also benefit visiting clubs across the region who currently call and check in with us during the week on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon just to discuss the status of the ground and if its playable that weekend or not.

“Thank you very much to our local MP Gareth Ward for his efforts and hard work to secure and deliver this funding from the State Government as it is a real game-changer for our Albion Park Cricket Club,” Mr Burns said.