Children’s soccer coach Tony Thorpe has an ambitious vision for Police Paddock.
He would like to see the amenities block upgraded to include change rooms, an education room, seating and a place where children who train at the fields can take shelter in bad weather.
Mr Thorpe said between 700 and 800 children play soccer at Police Paddock, which is a training space for most of the soccer teams in Bathurst.
Local cricket teams also use its two synthetic pitches for games twice a week as well as twenty20 cricket on Monday nights.
In addition, the Gormans Hill fields are used for camping during the Bathurst 1000.
Mr Thorpe said he would like to see the old amenities block pulled down and a multi-use facility built with men’s and women’s change rooms on top, along with seats and shelter for when it’s raining.
He said if council is keen to take on the project he would help in trying to obtain sponsorship.
Mr Thorpe added that it might also be possible to access the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnership funding.
He said $300,000 worth of grant funding has been set aside for the Bathurst electorate, although the project would require more than that sum.
Mr Thorpe said the work would be in keeping with council’s new Destination Management Plan because improved amenities would attract professional sporting workshops and more campers.
He said council had indicated it was willing to put money into upgrading Police Paddock at some point and he hopes seeking corporate sponsorship and funding might get the ball rolling.
“Police Paddock has been overlooked in the past because it is a case of out of sight, out of mind,” Mr Thorpe said. “I think this has to be a priority.”
Cr Michael Coote said he is not opposed to the idea, however, council’s priority for this financial year is upgrading and extending nearby Proctor Park.
Cr Coote said Proctor Park will be resurfaced and extended a little and a grandstand will be constructed.
“My child trains on Police Paddock, so I know it is needed, but Proctor Park is well overdue for an upgrade,” he said.
Cr Coote said there is a brand new amenities block at Proctor Park which is located just across the creek from Police Paddock.