St Clair Recreation Centre celebrates huge impact in first 12 months
The impact of the $26 million St Clair Recreation Centre across the local and wider South Australia community in its first 12 months of operation has exceeded all predictions, and YMCA South Australia has set out an ambitious plan for further growth in 2020.
The City of Charles Sturt centre with 9,000 square metres of court space, has recorded an average of 35,000 attendances per month to the end of November, which is more than double original expectations. YMCA stand-alone stadium sports programs number more than 140 teams, while the centre has quickly become a venue of choice for major state and national events.
St Clair YMCA manager, Scott Lampshire, was thrilled with the results and the steady growth in participation and profile of the centre over its first year.
“We’ve had consistent interest across the community from the very start, both in the stadium sports space and also with large sporting and entertainment events,” he said. “There is always challenges to facilitate the number of competitions and large scale events we host, but we have overcome these and are confident that we can grow and reach even greater goals next year.”
Mr Lampshire said that YMCA management had identified a significant gap in that team competitions were based around Primary School aged participants. As a result, the initiation of stadium sports competitions aimed at Secondary School students is planned to start at the beginning of the 2020 school year.
“There’s a disconnect between Primary and Secondary School sports participation and we are aiming to address that in 2020,” he said. “We will expand our footprint to offer basketball, netball and Futsal (indoor soccer) to secondary school students from February.”
“It’s a challenging area but the St Clair Recreation Centre is the perfect venue to facilitate this and interest has been high already.”
We will work in conjunction with the Western Zones Schools community to promote and activate these competitions with the aim of providing teenagers with a social and active alternative to passive pastimes.
Mr Lampshire added that hosting events was a specialty of the centre and big attractions planned included the national Baptist Basketball tournament in January and National Men’s Netball Championships in April. Both events are expected to attract over 1000 people per day across their duration.
“We successfully hosted the Woodville District Basketball Club annual tournament where 180 teams played across all age level over four days. This brought around 1000 players and spectators in to the centre each day, so we are confident of being able to provide the best stadium sports experience possible for participants, support staff and spectators.”
“Added to that, food and beverage has been a great addition to the centre with our café and function space currently exceeding expectations by 62 per cent. We work closely with our suppliers and customers to make sure we deliver a great service that can also be customised for events.”
The St Clair Recreation Centre was funded by the City of Charles Sturt with contributions from the South Australia Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing and the Department of Education and Child Development.