NSW Nationals Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen says rugby fans will soon be able to cheer on their teams in style and comfort with $900,000 to begin construction of a new modern grandstand and facilities at the Singleton Rugby Club.
Mr Johnsen said the ageing Western Grandstand that was originally built in the 1970s now urgently needs to be replaced to ensure the safety of spectators and players.
“Our Singleton Rugby Club is a proud club that has produced two Wallabies and a Waratah and is also a cornerstone of the community, where thousands of fans cheer on match days and hundreds gather in the clubhouse after full-time,” Mr Johnsen said.
“A new Western Grandstand will significantly benefit the club, increasing the ground’s spectator capacity and crowd numbers, which will have positive flow on effects for local businesses.
“Sport unites and inspires communities and the Nationals in Government wants towns right across regional NSW have top-class facilities that encourage participation, particularly amongst young people, and perhaps even unearth a potential future Wallaby.”
Mr Johnsen said funding for stage one of the Western Grandstand project will enable construction of the ground floor of the new grandstand as well as two female change rooms, toilets, a kiosk, a storeroom and a training and rehabilitation room.
“Completing Stage One will provide sheltered seating for 430 spectators and enable the grandstand to be used on match days while other stages of work are being completed,” Mr Johnsen said.
“Spectators will literally be sitting on rugby history, with the new grandstand seats being repurposed from the Sydney Football Stadium, where fans witnessed countless famous moments like George Gregan’s ‘that tackle’ on All Blacks winger Jeff Wilson.”
Singleton Rugby Club President Shane Thompson thanked the NSW Government for funding stage one of the Western Grandstand project, which will benefit both the club and the community.
“Our club has 230 senior members playing competition rugby, which attracts almost 5,000 fans and fills our club with more than 900 people on home match days,” Mr Thompson said.
“Around 12,000 fans travel to Singleton each season to compete or support visiting teams, which means more business for local retailers, restaurants and other services.”
Funding for the upgrade has been provided by the NSW Government’s Regional Communities Development Fund.