For many Australians, sport is a part of everyday life. My family has spent many weekends at the local soccer, basketball, and hockey clubs where we connect with our community and teach our children the values of dedication, teamwork, and determination.
The enriching shared experiences and connections sport brings, especially to people in regional Australia, wouldn’t be possible without continued investment in local sporting clubs.
North Queensland residents in Mackay will soon enjoy the new Great Barrier Reef Arena, opening this month. The facility will host events including Australian Football League games, cricket matches and concerts.
But the story behind the construction is a community one too with the crucial involvement of a non-profit organisation, Harrup Park Country Club.
Harrup Park began construction in September 2021 and has built an arena with a capacity of 10,000 people for sport, 20,000 people for concerts, new player facilities and a media and broadcast centre.
The local community – benefitting from a fast-growing population, strong small business, and tourism – will benefit further by attracting more of Australia’s sporting events to the region.
"Mackay has a rich history of sport,” says Great Barrier Reef Arena General Manager Adrian Young. “Across every code, we’ve had athletes come out of Mackay and be champions at a national and international level. This facility and our club is built by the community, for the community. Everything we try to achieve and everything we do is for our community in our region.”