Rugby union: Oxley Oval upgrade continues with lights to be switched on November 16

Preparing: Adam McCormack and the Vikings could be playing at night in 2018.
Preparing: Adam McCormack and the Vikings could be playing at night in 2018.

HASTINGS Valley Vikings president Chris Trutwein is open to the idea of the club hosting night games at Oxley Oval in 2018.

While Trutwein admitted the final decision would be left to next year’s coaching staff, the benefits are endless.

“It would give the community of Port Macquarie an opportunity to watch a high-quality game of rugby on a Friday night after work,” he said.

“We’ve tried it in the past over at Wood Street and the benefits of being able to do that at Oxley is that it frees up the weekend for the players.

“We might try it with junior games of a Friday night as well.”

The Vikings have previously split their time between training at Wood Street and playing at Oxley Oval, but they will now have a permanent base.

“All our training equipment will be in the one spot so we won’t have to get people to head over to Wood Street to get tackle pads or whatever we need,” Trutwein said.

The lights at Oxley Oval are expected to be switched on on November 16, providing the club with the option to both train and play of a night time.

“The lighting power – I think it’s 100 lux – will be suitable for large ball sports so we will be able to train where we play and Oxley Oval will be our full-time home,” Trutwein said.

Future benefits of improved lighting at Oxley Oval will allow small ball sports – like cricket – the opportunity to host day/night and Twenty20 matches over Christmas in coming years.

“Cricket are trying to raise funds to get the lighting upgraded to a level where small ball sports can also be played,” Trutwein said.

“The other advantage (of having lights) is that it can help (the community) try to apply for other sporting carnivals.”