City continues activation of unused space in National Park

27 Jul 2021

Work is about to start to triple the number of basketball courts located within the inner city’s National Park.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the decision to add four basketball courts was based on the popularity of the existing courts since opening in September last year.

“Each weekend, hundreds of mostly young people flock to National Park to use the blue basketball courts and the green space located on the site of the former bowling club building,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Based on the demand, we’re continuing our re-activation of the former tennis courts located near the corner of National Park and Parry Streets by increasing the total number of basketball courts to six.

“By delivering four additional courts, we’re increasing the opportunity for our community to get outdoors to participate in casual sport and exercise.”

Seating, shade shelters and a drinking fountain will also be installed as part of the work, with lighting to be considered during the development of the National Park Plan of Management and associated Landscape Masterplan.

The Lord Mayor said the long-term future of the space would be determined through the National Park Plan of Management and Landscape Masterplan.

“We recently consulted with our community regarding the future of National Park to inform the revised National Park Plan of Management and Landscape Masterplan, which are now under development.

“National Park is such a unique recreation space located in the heart of Newcastle. It will continue to play an important part in the liveability of our city into the future.”

Local basketball coach, Kristy Flores, who has played and coached USA college basketball, said that the local basketball community has welcomed the news of additional courts in National Park.

“Newcastle has a growing number of basketball players and it’s been fantastic for both amateurs and professional players to have access to such great community facilities. I’m sure that once the additional courts are complete and there’s space for spectators to sit and relax, that National Park will become even more popular a recreational hub,” said Flores.

National Park is one of Newcastle’s largest and oldest sportsgrounds and open space reserves, covering over 20 hectares and is currently home to a range of community facilities including sportsgrounds, netball courts, croquet club and athletics track.

The northwest corner of the park was formerly home to tennis courts and a bowling club, which was later occupied by charity Life Without Barriers until 2017.

In 2019 City of Newcastle commenced a process to provide safe public access to the northwest corner of the park, including demolishing the fire damaged Life Without Barriers building and turfing the area for passive recreation.

Construction on the new courts will commence this week. For a complete listing of basketball courts throughout Newcastle click here.