Cahill Park lights up the field for sports and fans
IT is hoped that the new lighting installed at Cahill Park Sports Complex will illuminate not only future sporting games, but also the faces of the spectators who the clubs hope come to watch their favourite sport and forget about their troubles, “even for an hour”.
Manager of Cahill Park Sports Complex, Mark Swan, said the lights had made a huge difference to the complex.
“We’re the only club between Toowoomba and Ipswich that has lights that are this good,” he said.
Mr Swan said the hoped people would be encouraged to come together and support local clubs when they play.
“Next year, we’d like to hold more events and get more support from the community.
“It’s hard times but by getting out and about, you might forget about your troubles for an hour – just come down and enjoy yourself.”
Sport brought people together, Mr Swan said, and his goal was that the improved complex was a place for get-togethers and to help lift people’s moods.
“Especially in these hard times, you need all the support you can get.”
The first game under the lights was on October 23 when the Valley Raptors cricket team played and, each week since, touch football games have been played with the new lights.
“There’s a few cricket games coming up and there will be rugby league from February onwards. And touch football just keeps going throughout the year.”
A State Government grant as well as financial input from affiliated clubs had funded the $650,000 it cost for the upgraded lighting, with the netball courts also receiving new lights.
“There’s nowhere around the Lockyer Valley like this. These are state level lights so you can play state level games under them,” Mr Swan said.
“It will bring a broader range of people to the club and higher level sports will be able to use the fields.”
He said more people would also be attracted to the community which would be a boost for the local economy.
“Cahill Park is the home of sport in the Lockyer Valley and this is the final step we needed.”
Ian O’Brien, franchisor of the Valley Raptors, was there when the first game was played under the new lights on October 23.
“It was great – the players loved it.”
“It will make a difference, and the next thing will be that club games can be played from the afternoon and into the night.
“There’s enough lighting now that they can hold a big football game like a Broncos trial game or an Intrust game.”
Mr O’Brien said the new lights would attract more people to Cahill Park events.
“And it brings something back to the region. Particularly under cricket and maybe under rugby league too, it will bring some big games here.”
He said games could start at, for example, 3.45pm and be played until 9pm, and include a dinner break.
“People will come and watch at night. You get a crowed and more spectators and people then patronise the leagues club as well.”