News & Stories

University sports clubs cheer on Sandy Bay campus redevelopment

The University’s soccer, cricket, AFL and rugby clubs are excited about the plans for a redeveloped sports precinct on the Sandy Bay campus.

Image: Michaelyne Arumbi from the Tasmanian University Rugby Union Football Club on the attack.

Under the Reimagine Sandy Bay Master Plan, the sporting precinct will include new playing fields and facilities to accommodate the burgeoning growth in women and juniors, without the loss of important community facilities such as the UniGym.

The University sporting clubs are a special part of university life for students and are a highly valued link between the University, alumni and the Tasmanian community. 

Two FIFA approved pitches – one of which will be used for rugby and soccer – will be put in and the existing cricket/AFL ground will be upgraded. 

The Unigym and current sports hall will be retained, and current plans include a new pavilion, new change rooms, an administration hub, indoor cricket training area, natural turf cricket nets, new indoor multipurpose hall, dojo and car parking be able to accommodate sporting fixtures up to State championship level.

The President of the University Soccer Club, Ellisa Bowditch said the plans were a dream come true for the club. 

“The proposed facilities would mean we could be sure of playing and training all year in all weather, whereas the grounds at Olinda Grove don’t deal well with the winter weather and are falling apart by the end of the season. Training and games regularly have to be cancelled.”

Despite these challenges, this year the club has added two more junior teams and seen a record number of new female players sign up.

Gene Phair, President of the University Cricket Club, said the club was “beyond 100% supportive” of the new plans. 

“This is the most exciting period for our club in recent memory,” he said.

The University Cricket Club is seeing a big increase in the demand on facilities because of growth in women and junior participation, particularly in the 7 to 17 age group. 

“We have a couple of hundred juniors and at the moment our facilities aren’t able to grow at the same rate as our membership.”

The President of the Tasmanian University Rugby Union Football Club, Jordan Ryan, also welcomes the redevelopment.  

We are excited to continue to consult on the sports precinct redevelopment and want to ensure that amenities are improved to an appropriate standard. Our aim is to improve our facilities without compromising our values, history and identity as one of the oldest rugby clubs in Tasmania.

University AFL Club President Luke Bartulovic said that growth at the club – particularly through women’s participation – was changing the way the club needed to plan for the future. 

With around 70 members in two men’s teams (seniors and reserves) and 40 to 50 female members,  the planned facilities will accommodate the exciting changes that are under way in AFL participation.

Access the Sandy Bay Master Plan, find answers to frequently asked questions, keep up with the development process, and share your feedback.