Wanneroo club uses shutdown to upgrade premises

COVID-19 restrictions gave a northern suburbs club a rare opportunity to upgrade its facility.

Volunteers have been refurbishing Wanneroo Sports and Social Club during the mandatory shutdown of its premises due to gathering restrictions.

President Dennis Hampton said the committee and volunteers had been working to modernise facilities in the building, which had housed the club for more than 50 years.

“It’s a very old building,” he said.

“Because we were closed down by coronavirus, we thought we would take the opportunity to upgrade it.

“We could never do some of the work that we are doing now if we were fully operational.”

Mr Hampton said the club had about 540 members and four sports sections, so there were people in it virtually every day.

The club received a $20,000 grant in January, which it had to match, to replace carpets that were two or three decades old.

It also decided to update the dance floor and with the club closed for several weeks, Mr Hampton said they decided to do more painting and renovations.

“It’s turned out to be bigger than Ben Hur,” he said.

“We are going further than we anticipated.”

Mr Hampton said they expected the upgrades to total about $60,000 to $70,000 and were looking at other funding options, including Lotterywest grants, to help meet the costs.

“We are looking at other avenues because we have no income at the moment,” he said.

“We did have a bit of cash flow to start with until corona came along.

“Because people are volunteering and doing the work, it has saved us $10,000.”

Camera IconVolunteers Maureen Jones, president Dennis Hampton, Ronnie Anderson, treasurer Mick Harper and Mary Tailor have been refurbishing Wanneroo Sports and Social Club during the COVID-19 shutdown period. Credit: David Baylis/Community News

Mr Hampton said volunteers had been working on a roster to maintain social distancing requirements and share the load.

To help cover the costs, club patron and City of Wanneroo councillor Dot Newton set up a GoFundMe page to help raise $20,000 for the refurbishments, which has attracted more than $6700 in donations.

Mr Hampton said when the restrictions first started they thought the club would be closed until October, but recent changes meant they were looking at potentially reopening in late June.

He said the reopening was unlikely until the State Government entered phase three of its recovery plan because it usually only served meals once a week, so it could not meet the phase two requirement to provide food with alcohol.

Wanneroo Sports and Social Club formed in 1962 as Wanneroo Sports and Bowling Club, and opened its Crisafulli Avenue clubhouse in 1966.

Members play lawn bowls, darts, bingo, racing and gaming, and golf.

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