Little Aths track gets underway

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Off and running: Mornington little athletes enjoy a day out at their current venue. Picture: Supplied

CONSTRUCTION on the Mornington Little Athletics Centre’s new $2 million IAAF standard athletics track at Civic Reserve, Mornington has started to get underway.

Civil work construction commenced a few weeks ago to level out the dirt and create an even surface for their new track to be built on, and the little athletes are on track to be competing on the new surface by October 2019.

Mornington Little Aths president Todd Martin said that with a bit of luck, the club should be on the track by the start of their 2019/20 season.

“We always thought it would be around that time next year with all the planning and construction which had to be done,” Martin said.

“The federal government have pledged $2 million to Little Athletics and $1 million to the Mt Martha Soccer Club, and the council, out of this year’s budget, have also pledged about $3.5 million. So it’ll be a bit over $6 million which is being planned to be spent on the complex.”

The upgraded Civic Reserve complex is planned to have four new soccer pitches as well as the new athletics track.

Martin also said that a future pavilion has been in discussion over the past three to four months.

“A new pavilion has been bought up but it isn’t completely funded as of yet,” he said.

“The planning on what is to be done with the pavilion has been done in consultation with us and the soccer club. We’ve landed on an idea on how it will look, but it’s likely to be a little while longer before construction begins on that depending on the financial support.

“There’s no real definite time set on the new pavilion but I’d be assuming it’d be a couple years off at the moment.”

Currently the Mornington Little Athletics Centre has been utilising the Mornington Secondary College as their temporary set-up since moving from their original venue at Mace Oval, Mt Martha just over a year and a half ago.

Martin said having Mornington Secondary College as a venue has been a great help for the club.

“It’s been good. The school has been very accommodating for us,” he said.

“It’s given us a good opportunity to run on a 400m track instead of the 250m track that we had at Mace Oval. It doesn’t sound like a massive difference, but it does change the way that the program runs, and it has been a good experience to run around there in preparation for our move to Civic Reserve.”

First published in the Mornington News – 11 September 2018

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