THREE Eastern Shore clubs have joined forces to establish a shared sporting precinct on the current Rosny Park Bowls Club site.
The Rosny Park Bowls Club, the Eastern Shore Croquet Club and the Clarence RSL have combined with Clubs Tasmania and the Clarence Council to help ensure the future of each establishment.
In late 2019, Rosny Park Bowls Club forecast a decline in participants and volunteers, putting them under increased pressure.
In the meantime, the Eastern Shore Croquet Club identified the need for a four lawn, grass facility to cater for increased demand and the capacity to host national and international events, which its current site could not meet.
The Clarence RSL also wanted some surety around a long-term home.
Clubs Tasmania project manager Andrew Moore said they used a community conversation model to listen to each club’s story, profile the needs of each group and then consult with Clarence Council around what options they had.
The end result was a proposed sporting complex that will include four grass croquet lawns, two synthetic bowls greens and the possibility for an indoor bowls green.
“We have a window with the Clarence City Heart project and COVID-19 funding via Government support that provides the stimulus to bring the broader community club industry into modern, fit for purpose community spaces and sporting hubs that deliver increased participation, better economies of scale and a future that allows communities to connect so they can continue to grow,” Mr Moore said.
Mr Moore said the development would also help the clubs recover from the shutdown of community support caused by COVID-19.
“We know that community clubs play a significant role in keeping our communities connected, so the recent ‘return to play’ for most sports and clubs is just what participants and volunteers needed,” he said.
“While the return to sporting activity does not mean the crisis is over, community sports clubs face multiple challenges in the months ahead, including reduced revenues, increased costs and the Government ceiling of a 500 crowd limit is making it hard for some sports to deliver competitions.
“All this combines to put many club’s and peak bodies, financial sustainability under threat.
“However, there are some good news stories emerging, thanks to some courage and a shift in mindset.”
Rosny Park Bowls Club chair Peter Brooks said the proposal would benefit the club in the long term.
“The challenge required stakeholders, local government, peak bodies and community clubs to work together,” he said.
“From initial conversations with Clubs Tasmania, our club quickly realised that a shared facility would decrease duplication, increase our volunteer base and critically improve the club’s viability and sustainability.”
Ian Smith, from the Eastern Shore Croquet Club, said he was excited about the opportunity.
“How exciting to bring three clubs together into a fit for purpose community sporting precinct in an area of population growth, resulting in increased participation and increased community connection,” he said.
Caption: From left, Ian Smith from the Eastern Shore Croquet Club and Rosny Park Bowls Club chair Peter Brooks.