Brothers share multi-use vision
BEING actively involved in many sports, the Ipswich Brothers organisation is regularly looking to improve its facilities.
The work done in and around Brothers headquarters at Raceview shows what can be achieved to help regional sport.
However, a new multi-use sports facility at Eastern Heights will not only benefit one of the main stakeholders in Brothers Cricket Club Ipswich Inc.
The fields, canteen, dressing sheds and associated equipment touted under a Facility Development Plan would add another valuable sports complex to the city's assets.
Brothers Cricket Club officials have been involved in planning how to best use the old Bremer State High School parcel of land along Grange and Blackstone roads.
In addition to multi-million dollar commercial and residential opportunities, the Jim Donald Parklands site has provision for sporting fields with a multi-use focus.
Brothers Cricket Club president Brent Kinnane is excited about what the seven-stage sporting project can deliver for his sport and other groups wanting to share the centrally located land.
"With this site, we work in with Ipswich City Council's strategy for the Jim Donald Park,'' Kinnane said.
"They are looking at that whole precinct in behind the aged care facility there.
"Part of their strategy is to do up the fields and all that sort of stuff into a big sporting complex. So we're going to work with them and Cr Andrew Antoniolli to make that happen.''
Kinnane said Brothers Cricket Club jumped at the chance to have new cricket fields established, able to also be used for winter-based sports like football and rugby union.
"The next step is getting other clubs involved to use those facilities so we can put in joint bids to the government,'' he said.
"The sports fields that were already there at Bremer High are the ones that they will convert into the sports facility.''
That links in with the established Jim Donald Park field, which is already being used for sports like church soccer.
Kinnane expects to see a first-class facility when the planned development is finished.
He hopes the first stage of the major projects can start next year.
So far, two junior fields are being used for under 10 and 12 cricket matches.
A new synthetic wicket is complete to give the young players access to a better quality surface.
Having been a cricketer for 35 years, Kinnane knows how that will help the youngsters.
"It's really a high level synthetic wicket,'' he said.
"This is as wide as a turf wicket so the kids will get used to the size of the turf wicket.''
A new turf wicket is planned under the first stage of the project.
The follow-up stages include work on the outfield, a canteen and dressing rooms, cricket nets, storage facility, sight screens and equipment to maintain the sports fields.
The projects are subject to future grants.
"It's very positive,'' Kinnane said. "Ipswich City Council are right behind it.
"Brothers Leagues Club are right behind us as a kindred club as well and they helped us out immensely with the synthetic wicket.''
Kinnane is delighted Brothers Cricket Club are an integral part of the planning.
"We are very supportive of the Council's direction for the whole facility,'' he said.
"We see this as a great opportunity for the club to cement its home base which it has been needing for many years.''