It may have been recently upgraded and have flash new lights, but for many the highlight of the first game played at the redeveloped Alfredton Recreation Reserve will have been seeing Peter Ciaston sitting in the past players’ box in his beloved red jacket, watching the game.
‘Scoreboard Pete’ is making a steady recovery following an accident in November which left him in a critical condition in hospital and requiring intensive rehabilitation. He still has great difficulty standing and walking.
The Courier interrupted Pete’s close scrutiny of the game to have a chat about how he was faring.
“Well I had that pushbike accident down Dana Street hill about six weeks before Christmas.
“It’s taking me a long time to come back from that. I fell over on Friday, but I’m getting there slowly.”
Pete’s close friend Rosie Ellard says he is doing a lot of rehabilitation as he’s still unable to walk.
“He’s trying very hard, though,” she says.
Pete’s life story is indeed one of trying very hard. Brought up in the Ballarat Orphanage, he refused a chance at adoption.
“I knocked it back, because I wanted to find out who my parents were, but it didn’t go down too well. Both my parents had passed away. I still have a lot of anger from the Orphanage days.
“It’s hard to move forward; I don’t know where my brothers and sisters are.
“One of my mates suicided last year, because of (what happened at) the Orphanage. So, yeah, a lot of anger.”
Nevertheless, his true family now is the extended one of the Swans.
“They are my family, yes. I’m hoping to get back running water through the year.
“I don’t know how long it’s going to take. I’m seeing the doctor this week about my legs.”
The Swans got up by nine points over East Point at the redeveloped oval. Councillor Vicki Coltman tossed the coin for the start of the match at the $1.65 million revamped ground.
New drainage and irrigation has been put in place at Alfredton, new turf laid and new fencing and coaches boxes constructed.
The $345,000 lighting upgrade has brought the ground into line with AFL state night match standards, and has improved viewing for spectators.
The City of Ballarat worked with the Ballarat Football Netball Club and the Ballarat-Redan Cricket Club to complete the project.
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