GETTING THE BALL ROLLING: Ballina Shire Council facilities officers Kylie Hardy and Amy Fortescue with coordinator of community facilities Roberta O'Brien at the new Ballina Indoor Sports Centre.
GETTING THE BALL ROLLING: Ballina Shire Council facilities officers Kylie Hardy and Amy Fortescue with coordinator of community facilities Roberta O'Brien at the new Ballina Indoor Sports Centre. Javier Encalada

'Best sports centre in regional Australia' now open

A VENUE described as "the best sports centre in regional Australia" is now open in Ballina.

The $8.5 million Ballina Indoor Sports Centre, located at 63 Cherry Street, opened officially today.

Local MLC Ben Franklin said the new venue was "world class", while Ballina Shire Council's manager of community facilities, Craig Brown, said the new centre allowed up to four games played simultaneously.

"Council has two courts, which have multiple uses," Mr Brown said.

"There is a screen that can drop down between them, so we can have basketball playing in one court and futsal playing on another at the same time."

After school hours, the centre has an agreement with the Department of Education to take over Ballina Coast High School's two other courts, which are joined at the centre.

"They all go under our booking system, so already, into week three of the school term, Monday to Thursday nights are all full of sports activities happening here," Mr Brown said.

Mr Brown said just the flooring of the main courts cost $466,000.

The centre also offers meeting rooms, which are available for the community to book, and can accommodate up to 40 people.

The centre will also offer advertising opportunities to local businesses in their scoreboards and screens.

Ballina Mayor David Wright said the centre been a dream of the community for decades.

"We have now a facility in the middle of Ballina that is easily accessible to everybody, and I'd like to acknowledge the NSW Department of Education, who has provided council with a 50-year lease," he said.

"These four courts will allow us now to stage state and national sporting events, as well as providing excellent facilities for the local community."

Cr Wright highlighted the $3.5 million grant for this project was allocated by the NSW Office of Sport, through the Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund.