Murray Bridge Rowing Club gets $497,000 from federal government's Building Better Regions Fund

Funded: Tony Pasin announces the good news to Craig Christian and the members of Murray Bridge Rowing Club. Photo: Peri Strathearn.
Funded: Tony Pasin announces the good news to Craig Christian and the members of Murray Bridge Rowing Club. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Murray Bridge Rowing Club's long-awaited relocation has finally got the impetus it needs to go ahead.

A $497,000 grant from the federal government's Building Better Regions Fund will help the club move out of its shed, attached to Murray Bridge Community Club, and into a new facility which will be purpose-built next door.

The club had already been negotiating an exit from its present home.

Club treasurer Chris McRae said the facility would be used not just by locals, but by sportsmen and women from around South Australia.

"The West Lakes rowing course is at capacity in terms of how often they can access it," she said.

"(Rowing authorities) had talks about a regional rowing centre, we had to be out of here - the stars aligned."

She said Murray Bridge had arguably the best river rowing course in Australia.

While it would never again host a King's Cup, which are only held on still waters, it had plenty of untapped potential.

"It has long-distance rowing, it's sheltered behind the island, and lots of clubs come up here already but have to drag their boats up every time," she said.

"There will be a number of bays they can rent, and there'll be a gym and clubrooms looking out over the bridge.

"It will attract a lot more business to Murray Bridge."

However, plans for a separate museum in the new building have been shelved - memorabilia related to the Murray Cods, James McRae's Olympic exploits and other aspects of the club's rowing history will instead line the walls of the clubhouse.

President Craig Christian said the grant would make a world of difference to the club's future.

Mr Pasin said he looked forward to watching the facility's development, and was pleased his lobbying in Canberra had helped it happen.

"There were over 500 applications to round two (of the fund)," he said.

"A hundred and thirty-six were successful.

"Hopefully we can land more projects for Murray Bridge in the next round."

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