IT HAS been a horror off-season for Emerald rugby league clubs with floodwater engulfing the prized pitch at McIndoe Oval, which is home to not one, but four local senior and junior league clubs.
And the outlook didn’t get much better as the new season drew near with major repairs still requiring completion, namely the restoration of the ground’s electrical framework and floodlighting.
Luckily BMA came to the party, offering to part with some of their hard-earned to help get the footy back on its feet in 2011.
“There was no way we could have done it without their funds,” Emerald Cowboys president Damon Walsh said.
Emerald Tigers president Phil Rooney foresaw a similar predicament had the grant not been made.
“We would have been in dire straits,” he said.
“It’s great what they do, not just for us, but for all local sport in the area, especially with the juniors.”
While some of the field’s floodlights are not completely up and running, most of the canteen and surrounding lighting has been repaired and back up to standard for the new year of football.
“We were looking at moving our home games away from McIndoe for the start of the season, but thankfully it didn’t have to come to that,” Walsh said.
Emerald Tigers vice-president Jay Edwards said BMA’s assistance couldn’t have come more timely, allowing the four clubs to concentrate money on other building projects.
There were also issues concerning the state of the turf earlier in the year, with a fear the ground could have become too compact for play and a real liability for the clubs involved.
However after some major restoration work, the grass is now looking greener than ever and was in fantastic condition for the QRL trial between Central Queensland Comets and Mackay Cutters in March, after a lengthy time spent submerged under floodwater. BMA were unavailable for comment.
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