Sailing club hopes to host titles with upgrade

Monday, 16 May 2016

A local sporting organisation is hoping an upgrade to its facilities will mean it can attract state and national titles to the region, and more members.

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the Bundaberg Sailing Club had been awarded $8541.50 to improve its kitchen under the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities program.

“The kitchen facilities needed to be upgraded to meet current health and safety standards so the club can host larger functions, including state and national regattas,” Mr Pitt said.

“If the club is successful in hosting state and national titles here in Bundaberg, these competitors will need accommodation, entertainment, and will bring a boost to the local economy.”

The club, which was established in 1908, had to replace the boat ramp and pontoon facilities after they were washed away in 2013 floods.

Bundaberg Sailing Club Commodore John Learmonth said the club had applied to host the 2017 Nacra class event at Easter next year.

“We haven’t heard if we’ve been successful yet, but if we are we could attract boats from Ballina to Port Douglas,” Mr Learmonth said.

“And unless we have these facilities, we couldn’t offer to host these types of events.”

The kitchen upgrade includes a hot plate, oven, refrigerator, freezer and stainless steel kitchen benches.

The work was done by local builder Terry Riley and club members who are qualified tradesmen also pitched in to help.

The club held its annual regatta in March and had a record 40 boats entered, which Mr Learmonth said was the best number of entries it’d had in years.

“We hope we can attract more participants and grow the club. We are investigating becoming a ‘Discover Sailing’ venue under the auspices of Yachting Queensland.

“There is also a ‘Learn to Sail’ and junior sailing programs, both of which we hope can grow the clubs’ membership and engage youth in sailing through involvement with schools,” he said.

Through the Stronger Communities Program, eligible community groups can apply for grants of between $5000 and $20,000 for small capital projects. All applications need to commit at least matching funding or in-kind contributions.

Each Federal Electorate is allocated $150,000 a year over two years. Applications for Round Two have now closed. For more information go to www.infrastructure.gov.au/SCP 

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