COVID-19 may have had the biggest impact on sporting clubs the region has seen for many years, but during the unprecedented off season, Tony Luchetti Sportsground has been able to recover.
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As a sportsground that hosts Group 10 rugby league, junior rugby league, The Mid West Rugby League competition, league tag, cricket, The Lithgow Show, IronFest and more, it rarely has time to recover from each event before the next one begins.
During the last few months the grass has become greener and mayor Ray Thompson hopes it can stay that way.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole announced on Monday, June 1 that Tony Luchetti Sportsground at Lithgow would benefit from more than $47,300 in funding as part of the NSW Government's COVID-19 stimulus package.
"It is basically a grant to improve showgrounds and we applied and I am very happy that we were successful," mayor Thompson said.
The funding will see the installation of an automatic irrigation system for the number two field at the showground.
Mr Toole said the popular venue at Lithgow was one of many across the state to receive funding to upgrade and improve the safety, use and condition of the infrastructure and support jobs in local economies.
"This investment by the NSW Government will provide a boost for the local community by supporting tradies and suppliers with work and strengthening showground infrastructure for the future," he said.
"For generations the Tony Luchetti Sportsground has been part and parcel of the local sporting community and I am sure having the ground's irrigation system extended will be welcomed by all users of the much-loved facility."
Cr Thompson said they had already started irrigating the sportsground but this money would go towards the last little bit.
"We want to keep it looking the way it does at the moment, because right now it looks great," he said.
"It will be a better field for our sporting teams to play on that's for sure."
The irrigation system will automatically go on at night time and will go off when the sun is out.
"The field will definitely benefit and we can put some top soil on it," Cr Thompson said.
"It does everything and gets little time to rest our poor sports ground."
Cr Thompson said some money also went to Rydal's Showground for safety aspects.
Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said this funding is part of $25 million that will be spent over two years to improve showgrounds across the State.
"$12.5 million is being allocated immediately to get projects underway this financial year under the NSW Government's COVID-19 Stimulus Package," Mrs Pavey said.
"We will then follow through by allocating another $12.5 million for more work across showgrounds to be announced next financial year.
"Showgrounds today are multi-use facilities for a range of activities from agricultural shows, rodeos and horse clubs to farmers markets, festivals, camping, men's sheds, and sport and cultural events.
"Our showgrounds are at the heart of communities including serving as evacuation centres during bushfire and flood so we want to keep them in good shape."
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