240 players from the Darwin Badminton and smaller clubs, including talented Territory juniors, will be left without a place to play and practice when Sports House in Fannie Bay is rezoned and sold.
The NT Badminton Association says the clubs will be evicted on 20 November 2013 and has called on the Northern Territory Government for an extension of tenure until a suitable replacement venue is made available.
Association member Dr Di Symonds says the clubs have identified an alternative site but is concerned for the future of Badminton in the Northern Territory as its eviction nears.
“The clock is ticking,” Dr Symonds said.“We’ve met with Government Departments, looked at alternative venues and commissioned an architect and engineer to design and cost a new multi-purpose venue for ready land at Marrara that would be an asset to the whole community.”
The $6.8 million proposal caters for a 3,500 square metre sports facility on land adjacent to the gymnastics facility at Marrara with eight badminton courts, eight table tennis tables, two Olympic-sized judo mats and enable gymnastics to double its current floor space.
Dr Symonds said the facility will service up to 2,700 Territory sportspeople every week across the four sports and fully meet community demand.Badminton has built a strong community following over its 40 year history in Darwin and provides a range of health and social benefits to Territorians ranging in age from eight to 80.
The sport is played seven days a week, 50 weeks of the year and is home to national and international champions – the latest of whom represented the Territory in Sydney earlier this month at the Under 15 National Badminton Championships.“Should the Northern Territory Government continue its intention to evict badminton without an appropriate alternative site, then badminton will most likely die,” Dr Symonds said.
“Please help us save our sport.”NT Badminton will hold a Badminton Flash Mob in the Smith Street Mall at 12.00pm tomorrow to raise community awareness to their plight.
The sporting association will also open its doors at Sports House to the public with a “Badmintathon” over the next 20 days and invites people to come and try the sport, meet the players, view a display of the proposed new sporting venue and sign their petition urging the Northern Territory Government to support their proposal for a replacement facility.
More information and Open House times visit www.saveoursport.org,auollow Save Our Sport on Facebook and SaveOurSportNT on Twitter.