Mount Burr United Football Club is hoping a grant given to the club as part of a national initiative for water-related projects will kick-start its efforts
to upgrade the town’s oval.
The club is one of 10 organisations from across Australia to win support this year from the Philmac Project, a scheme established by leading Australian
poly fittings manufacturer Philmac to provide small cash grants to regional communities.
Based in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia, the club will receive $2,500 in cash and $500 in Australian-made Philmac products to install a
new irrigation system at the Mount Burr oval, which is the small town’s main open community space.
Club secretary Clint Bowering said that while the grant would only cover some of the costs involved, it was significant because it was the first received
after at least three or four years of talking about the project and would be leveraged to generate other funding. The grant has also opened the door
to accessing expert advice from Philmac through local supplier, Millicent Farm Supplies.
“It has really helped get the ball rolling. We are a long way off our target but it’s a much-needed boost,” Mr Bowering said.
“It’s also a testament to having a go. We didn’t expect to be successful so to receive something is fantastic. Everything is a bonus for a small club like
ours because it’s hard to get funding at the best of times.”
With aging equipment and volunteers, the club has been finding it harder every year to maintain the oval and its surrounds so they can be used year-round.
Mr Bowering said the plan was to create a network of irrigation lines under the surface of the oval, linked to automatic timers.
“At the moment we have to shift travelling irrigators, heavy hoses and sprinklers. The new system will maximise the efficient use of water, and be easy
for anyone to operate,” he said.
The upgrade is likely to be carried out in stages as more funds are raised and to reduce the impact on the range of organisations using the oval, including
the local cricket club. It is unlikely the irrigation system will be in place for the coming summer, but Mr Bowering is hopeful work can be started
on some of the supporting infrastructure.
Philmac General Manager, Marketing and Product Development, Jason Mitchell said the proposal exemplified the type of project the Philmac Project was set
up to support.
“Our panel of judges look for projects that will make a genuine difference to their local community, and have the potential to reduce water use, improve
water quality or benefit the environment in some way,” Mr Mitchell said.
“Some times what a local sports club or school really needs to achieve that is a small amount of funding to get things started, without tying them up in
the red tape that often goes with large grants.
“Supporting them is really important to us because regional communities have stood by us in tough times by continuing to buy Australian-made products.
That support has allowed Philmac to continue manufacturing in this country, producing high-quality fittings that stand the test of time and provide
true value for money.”
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