Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Home Ground – Allinsure Park


Located on Queenbar Road, Karabar, in South Queanbeyan, the Tigers home ground was developed in the late seventies after a proposal was forwarded to the Queanbeyan City Council by the Club’s then President Len Peterson in 1972.

Peterson arrived in Queanbeyan in 1971 from Western Australian and found the Club in a desperate situation. The Club had few committee members, very little community support and lacked numbers off the field in officials. It had very few quality players. Len joined the committee in addition to becoming the Tigers Reserve Grade Coach and President within a year of his involvement.

He found that the small venue of the Queanbeyan Park – the Tigers home ground since the late thirties – was being scorned by the then named Canberra Australian Football League for its lack of facilities.

Peterson submitted to the Queanbeyan City Council a proposal to construct a new ground in South Queanbeyan. Unfortunately he had left Queanbeyan to live in Queensland by the time approval had been gained for its development. He passed away in 2009 at age 72 but not before he had visited the ground on a number of occasions to view his vision of a quality ground for a quality club.

On relocation from the Queanbeyan Park to the Margaret Donoghoe Sportsground (named after a prominent former Alderman of the Queanbeyan City Council) the Tigers have played host to many and varied activities during any one year.

The Tigers Club have continued to develop the sporting venue and surrounding area into a boutique sporting ground with most facilities available that are required of a major sporting complex – respective to the competition it plays in.

In 2008, the Tigers Club negotiated with its Principal Partner – Dairy Farmers – an arrangement to fund the renaming of the ground to Dairy Farmers Park, located within the confines of the Margaret Donoghoe Sporting Complex. In 2015 a new Principal Partner – Allinsure – took over from Dairy Farmers and the ground was renamed Allinsure Park.

Ongoing development

The Club has funded the following areas since 1979:

  • Fencing of the Sportsground both around the actual playing arena (twice) and the boundary fence which has fully enclosed the oval. The current arena white picket fence took ten years to complete and was funded though various family sponsorships, council assistance and a grant from the Tigers Licensed Club.
  • Construction of a roof over the grandstand
  • Constructed interchange boxes for home and visiting teams
  • Constructed coaches boxes for home and visiting teams plus time keepers box, press box and viewing platform for videoing of games.
  • Provided the complex with a PA System.
  • Built an Administration Building to house its Football Operations as well as providing two deck areas for members of its Growlers Club
  • Renovated the Canteen facilities on numerous occasions including the construction of a pergola area at the front of the canteen.
  • Built an area at the back of the grandstand for the purpose of a player’s gym.
  • Renovated the home team room’s showers.
  • Painted and carpeted all rooms within the complex
  • Provided the complex with lighting facilities
  • Built a temporary area to home the Tigers Growlers Club – it included an old shipping container. This has since been replaced.
  • Constructed three scoreboards since moving to the ground over thirty years ago
  • Construction of a pathway from the main car park to the grandstand to assist people with disabilities.
  • Formation of the Tigers Walk of Honour dedicated in the memory of Michael Haddock
  • Provision of a Tigers Premiership Flag display featuring a memorial to Dane Quade
  • Construction of BBQ area for match days
  • Provision of netting behind the bottom goals to stop balls being kicked over the fence into lower MDO. There has been two such provision as the first one blew down in gale force winds (and with the help of an advertising sign)
  • A major renovation of the grandstand and changeroom facility to provide a new visitors change room and showers, enhanced umpire’s changeroom, expanded canteen facility, expanded gym and increased storage.

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The ground is highly regarded and a credit to all involved with the Club. The Queanbeyan City Council has also provided excellent support in developing the ground and maintaining the facility as one of the prime sporting grounds in Queanbeyan.

Another purpose

The ground does however serve another purpose. It is a retention basin for the overflow of water (after heavy rains) from the nearby residential area of Karabar, Thornton’s Estate and Cooks Estate.

Water is retained by a stone dam wall at one end of the ground which eventually dissipates water slowly into a complicated drainage system under the surface of the ground.

Pictured below are scenes of the ground under water after a torrential downpour of rain in the area. It takes just minutes for the ground to be flooded. Although competition games have not been affected by this unusual occurrence there was an instance at the commencement of the 2003 season where the ground was closed on the eve of a Preseason Competition – much to the dismay of the players attending training on the Friday night.

The ground floods so quickly there is little time to move items from the ground. On one particular flooding in the early 1980s a number of players had parked their cars in the ground close to the Grandstand. They were underwater within minutes of the downpour and subsequently were removed by tow trucks.

Witnesses have actually seen one young adventurer row a canoe across the ground when in flood.