HELP IS HERE: Western Downs Regional Council announced a $1 million Community Infrastructure Grant Program last week.
HELP IS HERE: Western Downs Regional Council announced a $1 million Community Infrastructure Grant Program last week.

Chinchilla sporting clubs react to $50m stimulus

CHINCHILLA'S sporting clubs will benefit from the council's $50 million recovery package that was announced last week.

Western Downs Regional Council's $1m Community Infrastructure Grants Program will fund works for community sports clubs and a $300,000 Community Hardship and Assistance Grants Program will give quick financial relief to eligible organisations.

Football Chinchilla president Ross Cardillo said the soccer club was eligible to apply for a grant.

"We're able to substitute the money that we've missed out on through our canteen and fundraising," he said.

Mr Cardillo said the club still had reserve funds and that sponsors could continue their support.

"Our club is fairly financially stable," he said.

Despite this, it would have been a very lean year for the club if it was not eligible to receive the package.

The coronavirus restrictions have impacted the soccer players as well.

"Our season commenced in early January with training and we actually got to play two games in our regular season before the Covid-19 restrictions kicked in," Mr Cardillo said.

"We've still encouraged our junior members to register this year."

Senior players have been encouraged by the club to continue their training regimes on a personal level.

The club is expected to resume activities in June or July.

Juniors would still be able to take part in a 10-week program after the restrictions are lifted, Mr Cardillo said.

"We will try to get back to normal as quickly as possible," he said.

"We'd like to reassure the Chinchilla community that the Chinchilla Football Club can get back to usual.

"It's been a tough battle for all sporting clubs."

Jim Donnelley from the Chinchilla Bowls Club said the grant would help with upgrade and maintenance costs.

"We are still maintaining the grounds and surrounds as per normal," he said.

"Those greens are really, really expensive to maintain.

"We have to keep that going."

Those at the club are also using the opportunity to fast-track upgrades to club facilities.

Some of the upgrades will include restumping the clubhouse, refitting the storeroom shelving, upgrading water and sewage pipes, as well as continuing refurbishments on the men's toilets.

Upgrades are expected to cost the club about $59,600 and will take place over the next two years.

"We've committed to doing the upgrades while no one's there," Mr Donnelley said.

"I think that council, pretty much like the Federal Government, are reacting in the best way they can."

The bowls club's state championship for this year has also been halted.

Participants would have taken part in a mixed carnival in April and a men's carnival in June and July.

"It's a very big impact for us as players," Mr Donnelley said.

"We've still got rounds to play in different events and we've still got finals to play," he said.

The club's members are eagerly waiting to get back to the championships.

"It's a pretty big impact on the bowls community," Mr Donnelley said.

"(The coronavirus crisis) is a new problem we're facing that no one's faced before."

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