Power lights the way for AFL

By James Matthey

In an ironic twist, a club named the “Power” have for so long been devoid of any substantial lighting.

However, that all changed last week when the Kiama Power were able to train under their new floodlights at Bonaira Street Oval for the first time.

The development was funded by the AFL Facility Development Reserve, the NSW Government as part of its Community Building Partnership in 2012 and Kiama City Council.

Although it has long been an ambition of the club to install lights, financial hardships to date have meant that the dream was only able to become a reality this year after establishing a secure sponsorship base.

AFL NSW/ACT State Infrastructure Planning Manager, Anthony Brooks, said that the new floodlights were an important investment that would benefit the entire community.

“2012 was the biggest year on record for AFL participation in NSW/ACT. One of our core values is to invest in community infrastructure to enable future growth of AFL and improve the standard of training and playing environments for existing participants,” said Brooks.

“Floodlighting at Bonaira Oval will allow full field training and junior AFL to be played safely at night.

“We appreciate and thank the State Government and Kiama Council for their generous partnership and contribution towards the lighting.”

The upgrade will see the lighting’s strength increase from less than 40Lux to 100Lux, and will allow both training sessions and games to take place at night in the seasons to come.

Club President, Tony Gent, said that the club had to overcome numerous obstacles to achieve the end product.

“We dug the first five-metre hole on June 13 this year and a week later the first concrete base was set,” Gent said.

“The three days that followed would present numerous problems, including the holes filling up with water to holes collapsing, cranes getting bogged time and time again, to a budget that was blowing out by the day, with the four base poles in place by the end of the week.”

Thankfully, however, the final result has been a spectacular success, and the club is excited by the possibilities that the new lights will provide.

“Now all we need is a couple of premierships to cap off a memorable season, and we look forward to officially christening the lights in match conditions early next season,” Gent said.