Hundreds of junior touch football players will run onto the newly returfed field at Heatley Park later this month.

Townsville City Council has finished extensive work to improve the playing surface and make it more usable for sporting clubs.

The Rum Runners Touch Football Club will be one of the first groups to take advantage of the new field. The club will be using it as a training base during the remainder of the junior touch football season while irrigation improvement works are carried out at their usual training ground at Joe Kirwan Park.

Infrastructure Services Committee chairperson Kurt Rehbein said it was great to have the Heatley Park field open again.

“This is one of the most popular fields in Townsville, used by Crocs Touch Football Club, Western Lions Rugby League, the Canine Obedience Club of Townsville and the Townsville Outdoor Agility Dog Sports Club,” Cr Rehbein said. “Council started restoration works on the field in early June due to higher-than-normal sulphur levels in the soil causing patches of grass to die.”

“The dead patches created a hazard, so Council has replaced the top layer of soil, re-laid turf, top dressed, fertilised and line marked the field to improve the quality and experience for users. The completion of this comes at a perfect time for the Rum Runners Touch Football Club as it provides a great solution for them as their usual grounds at Joe Kirwan Park undergo irrigation upgrades. The newly returfed field will not only be fit for purpose for their training drills, but the recent installation of the boulders around the park will help ensure the children can train and play in a safe space. We worked closely with the clubs for the work carried out at Heatley Park, and I want to thank them for their cooperation and all their extensive work.”

Rum Runners Touch Football Club Secretary Rebecca Parsons said being able to use Heatley Park for the remainder of the junior touch football season was a great relief for the club.

“Touch football often requires the skill of diving and the grounds at Joe Kirwan Park were sometimes too hard for our players to learn how to dive safely,” Ms Parsons said. “We welcome the news the irrigation will be improved at Joe Kirwan Park and look forward to being able to train on softer and more lush fields. We are also grateful to be given a temporary space at Heatley Park while the irrigation upgrade works are carried out so our junior teams can continue their season uninterrupted.”

For more information on parks and sporting facilities around Townsville, go to Council’s website.