AllCommunity NewsJosh Kerwick

George Thornton Reserve Reopens

Following 12 months of upgrades that cost nearly $1 million, George Thornton Reserve in West Pennant Hills is now open again to sports teams and local residents to fully utilise.

The most major upgrade for the reserve is the addition of a new field that brings the total number up to three; an important upgrade for locals in the densely populated West Pennant Hills area. Other key features include the implementation of new walking paths and cricket nets, better grounds for the pre-existing fields and improved drainage systems.

For local sports clubs like Redbacks FC, the new upgrades are a terrific boon for their operation as more locals become interested in trying out football. Club President Phil Simmons says: “Now that we have these new beautiful grounds, we’re really excited for the year ahead.

They’re attractive for both new and experienced players because the grounds are so neatly manicured. That makes it attractive to high grade players too! We also have a nice pedigree of players in the club – Chloe Legato is an ex- Redbacks player, and she’s now in the Matildas. So is Soccerroo Aaron Mooy – we’re very proud of that legacy.”

After the heroic Matildas run in the Women’s World Cup last year, Phil says that more people are becoming interested in trying out football – especially young women. “Our registrations are doing really well so far,” he says. “We’re expecting that we’ll be filling all the grounds every Saturday and Sunday, and every night during the week for training sessions as well.

438A02092 George Thornton Reserve Reopens
L-r: peter primrose mp, hills shire mayor peter gangemi and redbacks fc president phil simmons

Mostly, though, it’s a great open space that kids and families can come to have a nice little kick around!” Phil was in attendance with NSW Legislative Council Member Peter Primrose and Hills Shire Mayor Peter Gangemi to commemorate the completion of the park’s upgrades.

Mr Primrose, who was representing NSW Sports Minister Steve Kamper, spoke to why the State Government finds it essential to fund projects like this: “Spaces like George Thornton Reserve aren’t just great for sport and bringing people together, they’re also important for the mental health of local communities.

People like exploring quiet green spaces full of trees to get away from everyday life. This contribution from the State Government has really allowed the Reserve to become something I hope the community will be very proud of.”

Mayor Peter Gangemi encouraged Hills Shire residents to visit the Reserve and see what premiere features it has to offer residents: “It’s very important to us as a Council for our residents to live an active and healthy lifestyle.

Here in West Pennant Hills, we saw a need for additional facilities as more families choose to live in The Hills, and so we wanted those facilities so that people can play grassroots sports, walk around the oval and use the cricket nets while being amongst nature as well.

The benefits are endless for the people of both the local area and the wider Hills area – there’s really something for everyone here at George Thornton Reserve.” Redbacks FC are hosting an open day on Sunday, February 25th from 10am-1pm at George Thornton Reserve – come along for a great day of fun and trying out football.

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