Westend Griffith Council
Athletics | Synthetic surface | Natural surface | Acrylic | Hockey | Netball | Basketball
With no access to high-quality sports facilities locally, the Griffith community has expressed its need to reduce this access gap by developing a local/regional sports facility. The purpose of this centre is to create a multi-use facility that can cater to different sports while also attracting regional sports events. The facility can cater for both the local communities needs and a wider regional competition audience.
The facility consists of the following:
This project won the Award for the Sports & Play Industry Association Design Award 2023.
The client expressed the desire for the facility to be able to meet all the local sporting requirements, not just for local use but also for potential national and international events. In this context, it's important to consider all aspects of the facility's design and functionality, including the location of the correct orientation of the sporting facilities and a site-specific pavement design that will achieve the flatness requirements for all the different sporting codes.
Our primary goal was to get a Class Two Certification on the athletics facility; however, due to budget and the constraints of the site, it meant that one of the javelin runways and hammer cage were throwing downhill, which made those elements non-compliant. We then addressed some of the issues and continued operation.
As a result, the facility still received a certificate of compliance from World Athletics, officially recognising any time on the track.
During construction, Griffith experienced heavy rainfall, which made the ground unsuitable for construction. Traditional solutions for this problem are to replace the unsuitable material or to stabilise it with lime/cement, which would have been uneconomical and unsustainable.
Working with the geotechnical engineers, SPORTENG were able to replace some of the sub-base material with a larger rock and install a geo-grid which helped stabilise the subgrade. A solution that is less damaging to the environment and excessively less expensive than removing and replacing the poor subgrade material.
The regional sports facility has several innovative and defining features that make it unique and beneficial for the community.
First, the design of the facility itself. The decision to place the hockey field in the middle of the athletics track, with separate areas for throwing facilities, allows multiple events to be held simultaneously. This feature increases the facility's capacity for community and regional events.
Second, the line marking. A traditional line marking consists of plaques nailed to the running rail (inside of the track) to mark down the different starts for each running event. However, as they are marked on the running rail, the athletes still need to find the correct lane and make sure they place their equipment in line with the plaque, which can be difficult when you are in lane 8. The marking at the Westend Griffith is distinct by the marking of different events on the synthetic track itself. Doing so makes it easier for competitors to know where to start, making the setup of events like hurdles quicker and easier.
Third, the provision of a half-practice court for netball and basketball. It allows players to warm up and practice before games, reducing the risk of injury and congestion around the courts. To the club's requirements, the netball courts have been designed with two types of pavement base: concrete and asphalt. Concrete courts are used for finals competitions, and asphalt courts are for qualifying games.
Compliance across the different surfaces is another important feature of the facility: Netball Australia compliant for the netball courts, FIH Global Certificate for the hockey field, and World Athletics Certificate of Compliance for the Athletic Track.
These standards and certificates ensure that any record broken at the facility on the athletics track is valid and recognized. State or even international teams can compete on the hockey field due to the global level certification, giving locals the ability to watch elite-level sports at their doorsteps.
The Westend Griffith meets the specific needs of different age groups and levels of competition and complies with relevant standards and certificates. Its impact on the community and sector is also significant. The facility has brought a high-quality sports facility to an area that previously lacked such infrastructure, improving the health and well-being of the community and providing opportunities for both recreational and competitive sports.
Supported by the highest levels of government and seen as a priority for the local community, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese even made the trip to Griffith to assist with the sport facility’s Opening Ceremony and declared:
“[…]This is a fantastic facility, and congratulations to all of the local community who have campaigned and funded this over 20 years. This is a project that was first envisaged way back in 2002. And what it shows is that if a local community has vision, if it puts in the effort, and it has good leadership from volunteers and community activists, then you can achieve a world class facility like we have here, with basketball, netball, athletics, hockey, a range of sports across the board, as well as a 50 metre Olympic swimming pool.[…]”.
Mayor Doug Curran said the Griffith Regional Sports Centre was something the whole community could be proud of.
"Griffith is extremely fortunate to have such a first-class sporting facility," Cr Curran said. "I look forward to seeing it being utilised by a wide cross-section of the community as well as visitors to Griffith in the near future."