Calls to improve sub-standard field

Jacob Davis is unhappy with the condition of the rugby field at John Dunn Memorial Park while the oval opposite the field (below) is a contrasting picture. Pictures: Marcelo Palacios
Jacob Davis is unhappy with the condition of the rugby field at John Dunn Memorial Park while the oval opposite the field (below) is a contrasting picture. Pictures: Marcelo Palacios

Mr Davis’ 10-year-old son Xavier and his teammates from ARKs Rugby Club, can no longer train or play on the field because the dry grass, dirt patches and divots have become a hazard.

Members of the club, including the enthusiastic under 10s team, are now training on the football oval, which they have to turn into a makeshift rugby field, so they can prepare for the coming rugby season, which starts next month.

Mr Davis said a proper rugby field with goal posts is needed to play the game, especially as players get older and start playing 15 a side.

‘We just want a level playing field, somewhere we can train and play on,’ he said.

‘You want kids to be outside and active, not inside playing on the playstation, but when they fall over and hurt themselves because the field is in such bad condition it makes it hard to keep them motivated and the grounds just don’t have any appeal.’

The grounds at John Dunn Memorial Park, which includes a rugby field, soccer field and football oval, on Third Avenue, are maintained by the City of Armadale.

The lush green football oval is a stark contrast to the rugby field, which almost resembles a dirt paddock.

Mr Davis acknowledged football is a popular sport, but said ARKs Rugby Club – founded in 1974 by a group of rugby enthusiasts from Armadale, Roleystone and Kelmscott – is a competitive and well established club, which his family has been involved in for the past 20 years and members deserve a decent field.

City of Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said council staff and consultants met with the clubs and local residents who use John Dunn Reserve and facilities, including the rugby club, in mid-2012 to ascertain their needs for the facility.

‘Master planning was undertaken to plan upgrades and council then allocated $0.5 million in this year’s budget,’ he said.

‘Water supply at the oval has been a problem and a new bore was installed in recent weeks as part of the improvement works.’

Mr Zelones said upgrades are underway including levelling the playing surface, planting new turf and installing lights and a new bore and irrigation system.

It is estimated all works will be completed by September 2014.