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Media Release - Longford Recreation Ground Officially Opened

Posted on October 15, 2021

Longford Recreation Ground Officially Opened

Longford Recreation Ground’s facilities now meets AFL national regional standards for players and umpires following a $2.9M revamp.

Officially opening the new facilities today, Mayor, Mary Knowles OAM said the redevelopment of the rundown stadium was much needed to meet modern standards and the growing needs of the community.

“These upgrades will benefit all players and the umpires but particularly female players and officials who previously did not have separate facilities,” Mayor Knowles said.

Mayor Knowles said council was committed to promoting the health and well-being of Northern Midlands residents through the provision of sport and recreation facilities and programs that promote participation in physical activity.

The upgrade created two home and two visitors changerooms with separate enclosed toilets and shower facilities for each set of changerooms and two umpire changerooms, also with their own amenities, to the rear of the stadium.

The entrance to the grounds and the carpark also received a major facelift.

Due to strong feedback from the community for its retention Council decided against an earlier plan to scrap the old Mulga stand – which honours Fred ‘Mulga’ Davies - a Carlton champion and premiership player who transferred to Tasmania to become a player-coach for Longford in 1952, lifting the Longford Tigers to three regional and one state premierships.

Mayor Knowles said a study in 2016 identified the urgent need to renovate the stadium changerooms, toilets and showers, and the development of new umpire changerooms. The facility’s inability to meet the needs of female sport participants was also identified by an AFL Tasmania Facility Audit in 2017.

“At the time there was only one changeroom and toilet and shower facilities were directly accessed off the changeroom and included just two partitioned toilet pans, one three-man urinal, and five showers for the home teams.

“Visiting teams and umpires had to share a changeroom comprised of a large open, low-ceiling room with basic toilets and showers in a building at the rear of the aging Mulga stand.

Mayor Knowles said the facilities were clearly inadequate and not at all welcoming for female players and officials.

“Female membership is undergoing rapid growth with more than 70 playing members in junior and senior football competitions,” she said.

The Longford Recreation Ground is owned by council and is used primarily by the Longford ‘Tigers’ Football Club and junior football club for games and training during the winter season and by the Longford ‘Tigers’ Cricket Club for games and training in summer which together have close to 400 playing members.

The stadium and its facilities are also used regularly for numerous social events and receptions.

The total cost of the project was $2.9M;

  • this included upgrades to the clubrooms and amenities
  • improvements to the grandstand, including seating, balustrade and stairway
  • improvements to the carpark, including lighting, dual access and the ticket booth at the entrance of the ground

Other improvements to the facility included;

  • new plant and equipment,
  • technology including TVs, sound system and CCTV,
  • Fred Davies Grandstand refurbishment
  • existing toilet block upgrades and others.

The modernisation of the facilities was funded through a Sport and Recreation Tasmania grant of $80,000, and a Levelling the Playing Field Grant of $233,409.

Pictured below: Mayor Knowles, David Blair (Longford Football Club President), Des Jennings (General Manager) and Damien Wilson (Building & Maintenance Supervisor)