Following up from my previous article on Graceleigh Park, I will delve deeper into its journey and the challenges lying ahead.
Graceleigh Park, nestled in the scenic landscape of Beechmont, has long been more than just a recreational facility.
Thanks to countless volunteers’ dedication and hard work, it has blossomed into a cherished hub for sports, recreation, and community-building, serving community members of all ages.
Over the past decade, a series of significant makeovers, funded through a combination of grants and community efforts, have enriched Graceleigh Park.
These include the installation of light towers, clubhouse upgrades to incorporate toilets and showers, enhancements to spectator seating and shade sails, improvements to maintenance and storage areas for safety, and upgrades to the oval with top-dressing in 2018 and 2021.
The facility has also been equipped with modern amenities like BBQs, fridges, mowers, whipper-snippers, aerators, and boom sprayers.
However, there is more to unpack about Graceleigh Park’s future, particularly as the Scenic Rim Regional Council rolls out a generic lease agreement that may apply to all sports clubs within the Scenic Rim.
This one-size-fits-all approach may not adequately cater to the unique characteristics and needs of each community.
Amidst these changes, a key issue has emerged: the possible adoption of a “pay-to-play” model.
Although such a model is common among other clubs, it signifies a departure from the community-centric ethos that has driven Graceleigh Park’s evolution.
Indeed, the community spirit exemplified by events such as the senior soccer kick around every Wednesday night and junior soccer kick arounds on Friday afternoons, could be at risk.
These gatherings under the glow of Graceleigh Park’s lights, with power generously covered by BRASA, represent more than just sport; they symbolise unity and shared responsibility in a community that values its members’ contributions.
Parents and caregivers who have enjoyed these and other benefits must now consider how their engagement level might impact Graceleigh Park’s future.
As the park heads towards community consultations facilitated by BRASA, now is the time to step forward, engage in constructive discussions, and help shape the park’s destiny.
BRASA and other incorporated associations strive to encourage wider community use of the facilities and to provide more tailored sporting and development programs for children aged 5-12.
However, the continued success and enhancement of Graceleigh Park requires increased community involvement, particularly from those who regularly reap its benefits but have yet to fully participate in the volunteering efforts.
In the spirit of Graceleigh Park’s shared responsibility ethos, we encourage all community members to seize this opportunity to actively participate in the upcoming consultations.
The park’s future relies on our collective decisions, and together, we can ensure Graceleigh Park continues to serve as a beloved space for generations to come.
In my next article, I will touch on the exciting subject of community consultation as we navigate the changes a new lease or management agreement will bring.
The vibrant future of Graceleigh Park lies in our hands, and each voice matters.
Stay tuned, stay engaged, and let’s continue to shape our beloved park together.