Gympie Hammers women's halfback Georgia Zemanek and Colts fullback Brae McAllister, 17, at Albert Park.
Gympie Hammers women's halfback Georgia Zemanek and Colts fullback Brae McAllister, 17, at Albert Park. Bec Singh

Gympie sports are jam packed - the city needs more ovals

AS WINTER draws to a close this weekend and we enter a very busy grand final and presentation season, it's time to start a serious conversation around our local sports facilities.

Talk to anyone involved in running a winter sport in this town and you know our playing surfaces are bursting at the seams.

Gympie needs more ovals.

Devils
Devils at Jack Stokes Ovals. Philippe Coquerand

$1.25 million upgrade for the new home of Gympie cricket

Football codes are currently sharing facilities - to the cost of some but not others - and while the council is to be applauded for the master plan which has already been put into action to take Albert Park and the One Mile Ovals into the future, there has been no mention of additional sporting fields.

Gympie Hammers vs Caloundra at Albert Park 2019 Aria Skin and Beauty Ladies Day.  #5 Ryan Gottke
Gympie Hammers v Caloundra at Albert Park 2019 Troy Jegers

Gympie has always been a very competitive sporting centre, and we have two footballers currently making their mark on the code at a national level.

Gympie touch football Wide Bay trials - #3 Emily Collyer
Gympie touch football Wide Bay trials - #3 Emily Collyer Troy Jegers

The number of rugby union players in this town has skyrocketed in the past 12 months, going from about 300 last year to 800 this year. Women's rugby is responsible for a lot of that growth, and with the national zeitgeist loving women's sport and wanting to nurture it, there is a lot of grant money up for grabs for the communities that are smart enough to have a plan in place on how to spend it.

Gympie needs a plan. Now.

Aussie Rules - Gympie Cats Ray Warren Oval Unveiling - Dean Warren, Kim Read, Shannon Warren, Helen Warren, Ray Warren, Kellie Kent, Glenn Warren.
ALF: Gympie Cats Ray Warren Oval Unveiling - Dean Warren, Kim Read, Shannon Warren, Helen Warren, Ray Warren, Kellie Kent, Glenn Warren. Leeroy Todd

Our population is growing, and will grow even faster once the Bruce Hwy Bypass is completed, which means more people playing sport and an even greater need for more ovals.

Gympie Regional Cricket at the the One Mile Ovals.
In another hotly contested season, the two top sides Murgon and Colts will go head to head in the first finals and the second between Valleys and Harlequins.
Gympie Regional Cricket at the the One Mile Ovals. Bec Singh

Our council cannot afford to sit on its hands on this.