Schools prep for Olympics

Coominya State School aims to use the State Government’s Go for Gold Round 2 funding to extend and level its large oval with a 200m and 100m track with two or four pads for discus and shotput. Pictures: COOMINYA STATE SCHOOL

Three Somerset schools are getting ready to produce the next generation of Olympians.

On Tuesday, 28 May, the Queensland Government announced Coominya State School, Patrick Estate School and Toogoolawah State High School as three of 97 Queensland schools sharing in over $30 million in investment for new and improved sporting infrastructure.

Toogoolawah SHS principal Ross Jardine said the school was awarded $340,000 for major sport infrastructure upgrades through the government’s Go for Gold Round 2 funding.

“This significant funding will be used to establish new long jump and triple jump facilities as well as beach volleyball courts, enhancing the school’s sports infrastructure and providing students with state-of-the-art facilities to excel in athletics and beach volleyball,” Mr Jardine said.

The principal said the high school’s volleyball team was preparing for beach competitions using the long jump pits, which were inadequate for the job, consisting of just four squares of sand on sloping ground with an uneven run-up

“Our volleyball teams have lacked access to a fit for purpose beach volleyball court after it was removed to make way for the new community gym,” Mr Jardine said.

“With this funding, the school will address these deficiencies, providing students with the resources they need to train effectively and compete at higher levels.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Queensland State Government for this generous grant.”

Patrick Estate SS principal Jennifer Blake welcomed the Go for Gold funding, to be used to resurface the school’s oval and upgrade its tennis court to a covered multi-purpose court.

“We are excited for this upgrade and the positive impact it will have on our aspiring athletes in reaching their sporting potential and the overall health and wellbeing of the students at Patrick Estate,” Ms Blake said.

“The improved facilities will also provide the opportunity for our local community to engage in a range of sporting activities.

“We can’t wait for our first futsal competition!”

Coominya State School business manager Lauren Wyatt said no school in the Brisbane Valley Small Schools Association had the full facilities required for athletics events.

“At the moment Fernvale State School graciously allow us to use their facilities for our event,” Ms Wyatt said.

“We will use this grant to extend and re-level our large oval, including watering facilities linked to our bore for irrigation when required.

“The aim is to include a full (to the correct curving scope) 200m track as well as a full eight-lane 100m track.

“We will then concrete in two or four pads for discus and shotput, and install safety cages.

“We also hope to install a second long jump pit and fix the run up on our current one.”

Each of these large-scale projects have a planned completion date of December 2025.

Minister for Education Di Farmer said the government wanted more young Queenslanders to have access to modern sporting infrastructure.

“Encouraging kids to be more active is not always easy but having access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment at school, or in the community, can be enticing,” Mrs Farmer said.

“Of course we also want to help develop the sporting stars of tomorrow and see even more Queenslanders than ever before on the podiums at the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic games.”