Play fair, Blacktown Council! Be a good sport!

Blacktown is an active, sporting city, but the playing field here in Ward 2 is anything but level.

Let’s compare the quality of sport and recreational facilities in Lalor Park with that of the facilities in Kings Langley and Glenwood. At Lynwood Park in Lalor Park, families stand in the broiling sun or under tin roofs to watch their children play cricket. The clubhouse for the Lalor Park Junior Rugby League Club is padlocked and falling down.

Meanwhile, Blacktown City Council contributed $1.1 million to the new pavilion at the Pearce Reserve cricket ground in Kings Langley. And they built a new area for dogs to frolic in Kings Park.

The Alwyn Lindfield Reserve in Glenwood has a wonderful outdoor gym, while Endeavour Park and Pearce Reserve in Kings Langley just keep getting better.

A Blacktown tale of two cities

This tale of two sporting cities is unfair. It is time to even things up.

Labor says it is delivering transformational, world-class sporting facilities. Your Greens candidates are focused on an active, healthy lifestyle — for you, here in Ward 2.

Our plan starts with new pavilions and car parks for Lynwood Park and Cavanagh Reserve in Lalor Park. It continues with improved walking and cycling access for the surrounding community. Your Greens councillors will fight for a $2.46 million, 3.2 km shared pedestrian and cycle path through the heart of Lalor Park, connecting jobs and public transport on Sunnyholt Road T-Way with sport and recreation opportunities in Lynwood Park and Cavanagh Reserve. Branches could extend to Seven Hills West Public School and the Blacktown Aquatic Centre.

We will do all we can to protect and improve the creek beds, reserves and playgrounds of Lalor Park — to give the people there the same opportunity to enjoy walking, cycling and other forms of recreation as residents of other local suburbs have.

Diverse sports for a diverse community

It takes all types of sports to make an active and healthy community — not just cricket, netball and football. Many of us were born overseas, in countries with different sporting traditions. A lot of people just like walking around.

The new fitness stations are a great idea, but our playgrounds and recreational facilities should cater for badminton, volleyball, basketball, skateboarding and outdoor table tennis as well. And they need to be better sheltered from the summer sun.

There could be opportunities for our young people to try out sports and skills that reflect the richness of the world’s traditional cultures. What about lacrosse, originally a Native American sport? What about kendo (Japanese sword-wielding technique)?

Your Greens councillors will ask Blacktown Council’s asset managers to do feasibility studies for more diverse sports facilities across Ward 2.

Recreation for the many

The Greens support Blacktown City Council’s plans to be the sporting capital of Western Sydney, where residents live within 800 metres of a reserve and enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle. But for this to happen, high-quality facilities need to be accessible to everyone, regardless of which suburb they live in, what sport they want to play and whether or not they drive a car.