The next generation of Ipswich sports stars have a new place to hone their skills with the launch on Sunday (April 28) of a $4 million sport and recreation precinct at Providence South Ripley, in the heart of the western growth corridor.
The 4.5ha precinct will provide sporting clubs, athletes and local residents with a new place to come together as a community to enjoy Queensland’s great outdoors and rich sporting heritage.
The precinct is located in South Ripley’s Providence community, created by Okeland Communities, and will provide a home for sporting clubs from a range of codes, including rugby league, soccer, cricket, Australian rules, hockey and touch football.
Following a competitive tender process, Ipswich City Council recently awarded Ripley Valley Football Club and the Swifts Rugby League Club the right to base their clubs at the new precinct during winter months. South East Redbacks Cricket Club will use the facilities during summer.
After years of planning and nearly 12 months of construction, an official ceremony was held today to give residents and local club representatives the opportunity to celebrate the opening of the precinct.
Providence Director Michael Khan said the precinct was a significant step forward in Providence’s development.
“This sporting precinct is the result of years of hard work and we are thrilled to see it completed and open,” he said.
“I’m excited at the prospect that this precinct will not only become the home of our future sporting heroes, but also a focal point for all members of the community to enjoy the outdoors. Our ultimate aim is to bring people together through common interests and the sport precinct will help us achieve that goal,” he said.
Ipswich City Council’s Interim Administrator Greg Chemello welcomed the new Ripley sports fields and said this is an example of how council can work with the development industry to help deliver world-class sporting facilities across the region.
“Ipswich has such a rich history of success in so many sports and council anticipates that the community will see up-and-coming sports stars of the future kicking their first goals right here at Ripley,” Mr Chemello said.
“These fields, together with a $38 million complex at Springfield Central, which is almost complete, provide some of the best facilities in the region, if not the state, and council will continue to work with community organisations and the development industry to build similar precincts and create opportunities for residents to play and be active.”
The precinct is spread over 4.5ha and will cater to the region’s various sporting codes by featuring a collection of regulation-sized fields and an integrated oval. The fields will be complemented by nearby outdoor sporting equipment and shaded play areas for clubs to congregate and where residents can spectate. The precinct will also be fully equipped with a 100-space car park, playground and barbeque facilities.
Ripley Valley Football Club President Brodie Kenyon said Providence’s new sport precinct will be instrumental in helping them grow into a larger family and community based club.
“We have seen the quality of facilities used by other clubs, so it will be pleasing to show everybody what kind of facilities we have available to us here,” he said.
“The juniors have already kicked off their season; the mums and dads have been helping out as volunteers. We’ve had several step up wanting to coach or manage and just be a part of it. Our numbers are increasing, and thanks to these facilities we will be able to grow alongside the community.”
Swifts Rugby League Club, another sporting body local to the Ipswich region, will similarly benefit from the new facilities.
“These new fields will open up a number of new avenues for the club. Not only will our current members have the opportunity to show and improve their skills on new ground, but it will give us the chance to connect with new families and potential future players and members,” a club spokesperson said.
The precinct is part of the larger plan for Providence Parklands, providing sporting and recreational space within a 200ha area which will also include formal parklands, nature reserves and additional green space. When complete, Providence Parklands will be double the size of Brisbane Botanic Gardens, City Botanic Gardens and South Bank Parklands combined.
The precinct’s launch ceremony will take place at Providence Parklands Major Sports Fields from 9am to 12 noon on Sunday April 28. For more information visit www.providenceripley.com.au