Sporties health and fitness facility to stay closed

By Morgan Dyer

Barooga Sporties health and fitness has crumbled under the pressures of COVID-19 and will remain closed indefinitely.

Club president Gary Hunt said ongoing challenges combined with the effects of the coronavirus brought forward the “important decision”.

“Each year the Sporties Group subsidises the facility's operations to the tune of around $150 000 and with continual increasing operating costs and the building nearing 30 years of age and a number of major renovations required, it has become unsustainable for the community not-for-profit,” he said.

The facility has served the community for almost three decades and includes indoor heated swimming facilities, a gymnasium and group fitness areas.

It is unknown whether job losses will happen, but Mr Hunt said the Sporties Group was committed to supporting all staff during what is an extremely difficult time.

“The Sporties have been investigating ways to continue to keep the facility open, so far none of which have progressed, however the group welcomes and will continue to explore any opportunities or partnerships,” he said.

The announcement comes just days after the Sporties announced the Cobram-Barooga Golf Club bistro facilities would also remain closed indefinitely.

The club said on its website it was “not sustainable to entertain two venues” and would be “concentrating only on reopening the Sporties for food and beverage service”.

Mr Hunt said they would be transferring the home of the golf club to the Sporties.

The relocation will see a number of changes, including transferring the pro shop to the Sporties, forming a designated golfers lounge and building a deck for golfers at the Sporties and renumbering the old course, so that the old nine effectively starts and finishes at the Sporties.

Mr Hunt said the recent decisions were made to ensure the Sporties Group would be able to provide a sustainable community club into the future.

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