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Dee Why and Seaforth women's soccer teams battle it out at Dee Why Oval. Pic courtesy of Karen Watson.
An army of Parks staff are out in force ahead of the winter sports season with Council’s 122 sportsfields being prepped and preened ready for players to hit the ground running.
Fields used for cricket, softball and even frisbee throughout the summer season are being converted to soccer, netball, rugby and AFL fields. Cricket wickets are covered, softball nets removed, lines are marked and goals installed for 88 soccer, 20 rugby union/league, 10 AFL fields and multiple grass netball courts.
The fields are also top dressed and fertilised if needed. During the changeover from 23 March to 4 April, fields may not be available on weekdays between 7am to 4pm.
It’s a big job for the Parks staff, who gear up for this time of year and make sure it’s all hands on deck for those short weeks between summer sport finishing and winter starting.
Field maintenance is an important issue for the administrators of our winter sports. Many of our major participation sports are seeing big boosts in their already large numbers.
“We are tracking towards a big increase in players for the 2020 season,” said Manly Warringah Football Association CEO, David Mason. “We are already the biggest local football association in Australia with over 18,000 players and our numbers are looking to increase by another 20 per cent this year.”
It’s the same news for junior rugby union who are looking at a 15 per cent increase in player numbers this year, mostly thanks to many junior girls joining the sport.
With all the recent rain, the fields look green, lush and ready for the onslaught of footy boots. But we have to keep them healthy all winter, and in the event of wet weather, the fields may be closed to protect them from damage. Keep an eye on our Wet Weather page to check if your field is closed due to rain. The website is updated on weekdays by 9am and at 3pm if required, and at 7am on weekends and public holidays.