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Vital City of Marion community hub bringing people together

Wednesday 20 Dec 2023
00 7412 public Mitchell Park Sports Community Centre Studio Nine Architects David Sievers 1

The Mitchell Park Sports and Community Centre (MPSCC) is not merely a brick-and-mortar structure. It is a testament to the power of community, diversity, and inclusivity.

Nestled in the heart of the City of Marion in Adelaide, this remarkable facility has become a vital community hub for residents, providing a wide range of sports, activities and programs bringing people together from all different backgrounds.

Since opening in June 2022, the centre has addressed a shortage of indoor recreation facilities in the south of Adelaide, which has been welcomed by sporting groups and nearby schools.

Matthew Lower coaches the Seaview Downs Primary School Year 2-3 basketball team who now play their games at the MPSCC.

He said it was a thrill to walk the sidelines of the brand new courts and encourage each of his young players.

“It’s just a great centre, it’s nice and open and it’s not as noisy as some of the smaller ones,” he said.

“To have all the different schools being able to come to the one place, it just makes for a fantastic community environment.”

But it’s not just sporting groups and schools capitalising on the facility. Hundreds of community programs are held in the various rooms and spaces across the centre.

The Multicultural Women’s Group has been meeting up socially for six years and recently moved to the centre.

After moving to Australia from India, Maggie joined the group to meet people and share stories.

“We were looking for a bigger space and this is just perfect. We play bingo, we do exercise and we cook,” Maggie said.

“We can go for a walk in the lovely green spaces outside, we love it here.”

During the first 12 months of operation, the MPSCC has had over 53,000 customer interactions at its bistro, facilitated 3,277 bookings for courts and spaces and held hundreds of community programs.

The indoor courts are at capacity in peak times and are well utilised in non-peak times.

Construction of the facility cost $15.74m, including a $10.74m contribution from the City of Marion.

The facility has recently been recognised as a first-class community asset winning The Local Government Excellence in Infrastructure Award and the Institute of Public Works Award.

“Council made a huge financial investment in this facility, but we are already seeing that returned in the range of benefits a hub like this has for the community,” Chief Executive Officer Tony Harrison said.

While there are 12 community stakeholders with licenses at the MPSCC, the City of Marion operates the facility using an in-house management model.

Marion Council elected members recently endorsed the continuation of the model for a further five years after the success of the first 16 months.

“The City of Marion successfully manages MPSCC to a high level of community and stakeholder satisfaction,” Mr Harrison said.

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