A near 12 month campaign by Local Member for Mackellar, Jason Falinski, to upgrade the dangerously worn Narrabeen Athletics track is nearing an end, with the NSW Office of Sport committing funding to repair and upgrade the track by early 2018.
“In October last year, I was inundated with letters from residents regarding the perilous state of the synthetic athletics track at Narrabeen. The athletics track is in such a state of disrepair that it’s putting our athletes at risk of serious injury. I launched an online petition calling for the urgent upgrade of the athletics track – www.fairshare4thebeaches.org.au. The online petition received over 3,000 signatures in a really short space of time.” Falinski said.
“Late last year, I visited the track. I could not believe for a moment that the track was fit for purpose. The wear and tear and pot holes in the track are so deep and dangerous that athletes have and are being injured using the track. The lower leg injury rate in some training groups is at 75%, when the norm is 30% to 35%. One parent told me a story of a young athlete rolling his ankle on a loose track guard rail.” said Falinski.
On 17 December last year, hundreds of local athletes and parents took time out of their competition to hear Falinski address the group calling for the urgent upgrade of the track and encouraging them to sign his petition and write to the NSW Government.
At the time, Falinski said “This track must be fixed now and I will be writing to the NSW Minister for Sport calling for a meeting about this issue and immediate action. We cannot let our athletes be at risk of injury any longer. Our community gives so much and asks for so little. The people of the Northern Beaches deserve their fair share of Government funds” said Falinski.
“Following the public meeting, I wrote to the NSW Minister for Sport and since then have had several meetings and conversations with him regarding the upgrade of the track and the groundswell of community support behind the push.”
"I am pleased to report that the NSW Office of Sport hopes to commence the upgrade of the track in December, with completion by about March 2018. This result would not have been possible with the dedication of key community and athletics leaders Vicky Busse (Fmr President of Manly Warringah Little Athletics) and Shanna Colver (Current President of Manly Warringah Little Athletics), Robert McEntyre (President of the Sydney Pacific Athletics Club), and Peter Crombie (a Masters world champion athlete)."
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