BATHURST Little Athletics is leading the push for the creation of a purpose-built track and field facility in town.
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The club, which had more than 150 members for the 2021-22 season, published an online petition on its Facebook page last week, attracting over 600 signatures by Tuesday morning.
After using the Sportsground for a number of years, the club will be moving to Morse Park for the upcoming season due to renovations to the former.
Bathurst Little Athletics president Mike Curtin said ultimately the facilities at both venues are "unsuitable".
"We'll be at Morse Park to start with, but it's really unsuitable for a lot of reasons," he said.
"Mainly because there's no canteen, there's insufficient toilets and we've got young kids running around with a highway nearby without a fence.
"Athletics isn't just about Little Athletics too, as it's also a curriculum subject in NSW schools. We reached a point this year where Kelso High didn't hold an event due to a lack of a venue and Bathurst High was only able to host a skeleton venue due to a lack of venue.
"Everyone has just had to seek out MacKillop College, out of the goodness of their heart, to host an event.
"We've got some inherent issues in town and for 30 years we've been saying, 'That'll do'. We're at a point where that will not do anymore. We need to move some where more permanent, where these schools can have carnivals."
With a number of top class sporting venues in Bathurst, Mr Curtin said a brand new track and field facility would be the "final piece in the puzzle" for the city.
"There's a lot of online discussion about us going back to the Sportsground but the reality is that the Sportsground has a diameters of 140 metres," he said.
"An athletics field is 180 metres long and 100 metres wide. The Sportsground, regardless of whether council shouldn't have torn the track up or not, was never suitable. It has only been a stopgap."
Mr Curtin said land is the biggest issue and if a site was earmarked, the club would be able to apply for state and federal grants to help fund the project.
"We don't need a million dollar facility, we just need land so we can start hunting for funding," he said.
He described Bathurst's lack of a track and field facility is a "tragedy".
"For many, many years, Bathurst council has been saying to us: 'It can't be done, there's no where to go'," he said.
"They can find money for a bicycle park, they can find money for a go-kart track and upgrade the grandstand at Carrington Park for a once-a-year NRL match. But we can't find anywhere for our kids to have athletic carnivals in town and that's a tragedy."
Dubbo has one of the leading athletic facilities in the Central West with Barden Park, opened back in 2014.
There are plans to build a specialist athletics track at the new Bloomfield sports precinct in Orange.
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