Athletes hit a works hurdle at Llanberris Reserve

HUNDREDS of Little Athletics children have been displaced from Llanberris Reserve because track resurfacing is months behind schedule.

Completion of the $500,000 Llanberris upgrade, originally scheduled for this month, has been postponed until the beginning of April as the City of Ballarat awaits the delayed shipment of a new track surface from the United States. Until then, the facility is a work site and closed to the public.

Ballarat Little Athletics Centre president Shane Bicknell said the reserve, due to reopen on January 31, was now closed for the rest of their season.

“Little Athletics won’t be on it this season,” he said. “We’re at Ballarat Grammar. They’ve kindly jumped in and let us use their oval.

“We’ve had to change the program a bit because it’s grass at Grammar and we can’t do hurdles, and Llanberris is a 400 metre track and Grammar is 300 metres.”

Mr Bicknell said the upgrades to Llanberris, which included extra long-jump pits and a resurfaced, refurbished track, would be good for the community once completed.

Ballarat YCW cross country co-ordinator Paul Hayes said the club had delayed its season by a week, but was now using a venue at St Patrick’s College.

“The end outcome is we’re getting a new and much better track than the existing one and it’s a positive for athletics,” he said.

City of Ballarat people and communities portfolio councillor Des Hudson said the $500,000 project would restore the facility for competition events.

“The new surface is an investment in the future of Ballarat athletics and will deliver a significantly improved facility for local competition and recreational users,” he said.

“The upgrade will also position Ballarat to attract state, national and international athletics events to our city.”

The re-surfacing is being jointly funded by the City of Ballarat and Ballarat Regional Athletics Centre.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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