Clubs pool together for united vision of Community Lake Hub

Outrigger canoe action on Lake Wendouree in 2012. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

Outrigger canoe action on Lake Wendouree in 2012. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

PADDLING groups have pooled together to pitch for a designated community hub on Lake Wendouree’s shores.

The alliance features other recreational groups, like walkers, dancers and personal trainers, who use the lake for core training and fitness but do not have a base in the lake precinct.

Health and well-being is a key focus in City of Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree Master Plan survey put to the public for feedback with four of the nine projects, including Community Lake Hub, holding a fitness focus.

Outrigger Academy president Kim Halbert-Pere said Community Lake Hub was about more than a boatshed. It would offer all community members who use the lake a place to meet, store basic equipment or use a lockers, without having to be part of a formalised club.

For paddling groups, like dragon boat racing, canoes and kayaks, it could offer a purpose-built storage and direct access to the lake. 

“We want an equitable community space. We're such a diverse community and all appreciate the lake,” Ms Halbert-Pere said. “This is about how to solve a problem for better access to sport for more people who use the lake, who aren’t rowers or have a history with other lake-based clubs.”

Western Bulldogs Football Club propose to fund outdoor gym facilities to promote an active lifestyle and to help combat obesity.

Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club is investigating a criterium circuit at the North Gardens, as an alternative to Victoria Park, free from motorised vehicles.

The lake lighting project is also gaining traction to illuminate the track for walkers and runners, in set hours, particularly in winter.

Ballarat councillor Amy Johnson, who has worked closely with recreational users on the project, said it was positive for the group's plans to be recognised.

“Hopefully, this will try and make the project a reality sooner,” Cr Johnson said. "Just coming out of winter, you can people are really starting to use the lake more hours each day, especially in the early morning and early evening.”

Tuesday is the final chance for feedback: haveyoursay.ballarat.vic.gov.au.