HASTINGS Valley Vikings will finally be able to train under lights at Oxley Oval during the 2019 season.
For several years the club has been forced to train at Wood Street due to a lack of lighting at their spiritual home.
That now appears to be a fading memory.
Council director of development and environment Melissa Watkins said they were in the process of upgrading the incoming power supply.
It will allow the club to train and play matches at the same venue.
“Council has secured grant funding to allow for 300 lux lighting to be installed at the venue,” Watkins said.
“The lights are currently operational and will be available for training during the winter season.”
Vikings president Fiona McCormack welcomed the news, saying it would broaden the scope of future floodlit fixtures.
“We can now contemplate doing one-off matches because we’re a community-based club and we do a lot of fundraisers,” she said.
A local derby involving the Port Macquarie Pirates could now be placed on the agenda although it would need to be given approval by Mid North Coast Rugby executives.
The Vikings could also host charity matches involving rugby union and rugby league teams.
Elsewhere, there are no plans for upgrades to the lighting at Regional Stadium despite concerns which almost forced the Newcastle Jets trial match to be moved last year.
“Lighting upgrades are not currently planned at the Regional Stadium for field one,” Watkins said.
“The existing lighting meets general playing standards and the cost of hiring temporary lighting for events requiring a higher lux level represents better value for our ratepayers at this point in time.
“Additionally, council is continuing with project planning for the new Thrumster sporting facility which has been identified as an opportunity to develop a premier facility for football within our LGA.
“This will include the installation of permanent lighting to further encourage and support the hosting of events in our region such as A-League fixtures as well as providing opportunity for Newcastle Jets to establish a training base on the Mid North Coast.”
Money has also been put aside for training lights at Regional Stadium as council believed that was a better option rather than upgrading the lights on the main field.
“The new lights to be installed in conjunction with a new training field at Regional Stadium will be funded under a grant through the NSW government’s stronger country community fund,” Watkins said.
“These improvements will increase the capacity for this venue to be utilised by both local sporting user groups and major events.”
What else is happening in sport?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.