Junior touch football competition on the brink

PORT Macquarie Touch Football Association president Wayne Prince walked away from Monday night’s meeting still scratching his head.

Sporting groups met with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to try to resolve the future of Tuffins Lane.

He said there was talk of what was going to happen moving forward, but felt what was discussed didn’t fill him with confidence for the future of their junior competition.

“It will shut down if we have to leave Tuffins Lane because they just can’t accommodate us all,” he said.

“They were looking at other grounds in Port Macquarie, but in my opinion it will cause the over-use of them and we’ll be left with dust bowls.”

Prince said Port Macquarie touch needed 14 fields twice a week to ensure their competition continued.

“They just haven’t got the scope to cope with that number,” he said.

“What was discussed was wishy-washy and nothing was set in concrete as to where we can go. It felt a bit like it was just a box that was ticked so council could say they met with the sporting groups.”

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council acting general manager, Matt Rogers, said council resolved (in part) in October, to have staff ascertain what opportunities there were to optimise the use of sporting fields in Port Macquarie.

“The meeting last night was focused on staff presenting ideas and seeking feedback from local sporting groups,” he said.

“It was the first in a series of conversations to discuss the needs of local sports users and potential opportunities to add to current existing sports field use and availability.

“It also addressed opportunities to further develop existing facilities to accommodate more training and competition.

“Largely, participants indicated a desire to contribute ideas, provide further detail  and be part of the conversation on future sports field use.”

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