A PLEASANT CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR AUSTRALIAN SHUFFLEBOARD
President Ian Reiher Speaks on Jan 1st, 2016: The only shuffleboard courts available to the public in Australia are six located on the roof of part of the ‘The Strand’ shopping centre at Coolangatta and ten located in an area of parkland at Elanora which the Association leases from the Gold Coast City Council. Both these sets of courts are operated by the Australian Shuffleboard Association (Qld) Inc and are available for use by members of the Association and visitors. Both these areas are located in the south eastern corner of the State of Queensla1d which has a very pleasant sub-tropical climate and is called the ‘Gold Coast’ unfortunately not after gold to be picked up on the street but after the over 20 or so miles of golden sandy beaches in this area which is south of Brisbane the capital city of Queensland.
Currently we have over 80 members and we have a number of visitors from time to time.
The courts at Elanora are set out on a former tennis court area and are painted on a bitumen surface. These courts were developed about 1990 and have been very satisfactory in fact they were used successfully when Australia hosted the 2001 and the 2008 International shuffleboard Association’s tournaments.
About three or four years ago however they started developing some cracks and water began to penetrate under the bitumen and it started to lift. Extensive work of repairing has been undertaken by the Committee but over the last year or so it has become impossible to keep up with the cracking. With the sub- tropical climate it is not unusual in the summer wet season for it to rain very heavily something like five inches overnight.
We took some expert advice and have been advised that the most satisfactory and cost effective solution was to cover the whole area with a 100 ml sheet of reinforced concrete and mark the courts out on the concrete the cost estimate being in excess of $60,000.00.
The State of Queensland is very supportive of all forms of sport in Queensland and has over the years had a number of program’s of providing funds for sporting groups who show good cause.
About three years ago we decided to try for some funding but suffered two ‘road blocks’ to our eligibility. Whether shuffleboard was a ‘sport’ and whether as a result of the word ‘Australian’ in our name the organisation was a pure Queensland one.
We were required to obtain the agreement from the Australian Institute of Sport that shuffleboard was a sport and not just a simple recreation. This proved more difficult than at first appeared and eventually agreement was reached that it was a sport under the Institute’s definition but was just received too late for a funding application to be made in 2014 so it was left for 2015.
The 2015 program of funding for sporting organisations was called the ‘The get playing Places and Spaces’ program and made available up to a maximum of $100,000.00 to any one organisation and provided that the organisation must put in 20 percent of the total cost. Many millions of dollars was available for allocation.
This year we pulled out all stops registering the name ‘Gold Coast Shuffleboard Club’ as a business name of the Association and put in a very strong application with great support from the Gold Coast City Council, the Department of National Parks, our local politicians both State and Federal as well as the President of the ISA.
Much to our pleasure and delight just prior to Christmas we were advised that out application had been successful and just over $52,000.00 had been made available under the program and we have the balance of 20 percent needed to complete the work.
We are now looking forward during 2016 to getting the work completed and getting ourselves in a position where we can attract more members and hopefully once again invite our International friends to come play and compete with us and also enjoy a holiday on the famous Gold Coast.
Ian Reiher; President 2016 01 01