Published on 14 April 2023
New era for Port sport
Excitement is in the air as South Australian football icon Andrew Jarman commands his troops in front of the brand-new Port Noarlunga Community Sports Complex facilities.
It's a sunny autumn training session, just a month before the start of the Southern Football League season, and there are plenty of unknowns for the new A Grade men's football coach. But one thing's for sure—the new $3.5 million facilities have ushered in a new era for local sporting clubs and the community.
"The vibe has been terrific, and I'm really excited about what lies ahead for our football club," says the Adelaide Crows champ and dual Magarey Medallist.
"It is a new beginning, and it coincides with these new facilities, which not only enhance our football program, but the netball program, the footy girls, the juniors… the whole community."
The redeveloped complex—also home to Port Noarlunga Cricket Club, Port Noarlunga Netball Club and Port Noarlunga Tennis Club—includes a large multi-function clubroom and amenities, four unisex player changerooms, two umpire changerooms, a medical room, an oval and court canteens, kitchen and bar, storage rooms, offices, and an external viewing deck.
Co-funded by the Government of South Australia's Local Government Infrastructure Partnership Program and City of Onkaparinga, the redevelopment replaced facilities that had reached their end of their asset life and, in the changerooms' case, were no longer compliant with sports facility standards. The redevelopment was also built to meet the demands of a fast-growing region, and a boom in women's football.
While the old clubroom was nestled into the ground's western hillside away from the action, the new one is just metres from the oval and hard courts, providing the function space with expansive views of both playing surfaces, and improving access between the sites. Jarman, who's spent countless hours at suburban sports grounds over his decorated playing, coaching and media career, says the new clubroom is "outstanding".
"The way they've designed the viewing platform and the glass of the clubroom—you've basically got a 360-degree view, so you can watch the footy and the netball at the same time," he says.
Football club president Jason Davidson agrees.
"Now we can congregate right next to the oval on game day and at trainings, making the viewing experience much better—especially on those cold winter mornings," says Jason. "It makes life much easier for families interested in multiple sports. Having new facilities also makes attracting new, and retaining older, players much easier."
As well as setting up the sporting clubs for success, the redevelopment is benefiting the wider community, with the facilities used by other groups for music and social events such as live gigs, the Port Noarlunga Blues Festival, and weddings.
The Port Noarlunga Community Sports Complex redevelopment is just one of a range of significant sporting upgrades recently completed or underway in the City of Onkaparinga, including at:
- Reynella Sports Complex ($1.1 million, including funding from the federal government's Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program, the state government, and council)
- Happy Valley Sports Park ($1.6 million, including funding from the federal government's Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program, the state government, and council)
- Peregrine Park, Christie Downs ($750,000 from the federal government's Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program and council)
- Old Noarlunga Sports Ground ($900,000 from the state government)
- Morphett Vale Memorial Sports Complex ($980,000, from the federal government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program and council).
The City of Onkaparinga advocates and applies for funding from other levels of government and their stimulus programs to help bring forward priority projects, deliver better outcomes for the community and ratepayers, create local job opportunities, and boost the local economy.