Media Release: Clem Thompson Memorial Oval and Pavilion hosts official launch ceremony

The highly anticipated Clem Thompson Memorial Oval and Pavilion in Tom Price was officially opened at a twilight ceremony on Thursday, 13 February 2014.

The $10 million community facilities project was possible thanks to funding from Royalties for Regions, Rio Tinto, Department of Sport and Recreation and the Shire of Ashburton. The local community is invited to experience the impressive new venue when it opens to the general public on February 23.

A ‘Welcome to Country’ by Eastern Guruma Elder, Wayne Stevens marked the commencement of the launch ceremony. Shire of Ashburton President Kerry White then took the opportunity to thank all of the valued sponsors for their contributions before unveiling a polished iron ore plaque that formally recognised their generous support.  

It is anticipated that teams from numerous sporting disciplines will benefit from the new amenities.

“To date, we’ve had a fantastic response to the project with many sporting clubs keen to utilise our facilities,” shared Cr White. “We’re expecting over 30 teams from all sporting disciplines will make use of the state-of-the-art recreational facility. With four club rooms, an umpire room, bar and kitchen facilities, change rooms, a canteen and plenty of storage, we expect around 5000 people to utilise the Oval and Pavilion every year for training nights, game days and events.”

Other key speakers at the event were Mr Vincent Catania MLA, Member for Northwest Central, Mr Michael Gollschewski, Managing Director Pilbara Mines Rio Tinto, Dr Ken King, Chief Executive Officer Pilbara Development Commission and Shire of Ashburton Councillor Tony Bloem.

Rio Tinto managing director Pilbara Mines Michael Gollschewski said the project was a great example of how community, government and industry could work together to deliver a real need for the community.

“Local community sport often forms the pillar of many regional towns and Tom Price is no different,” Mr Gollschewski said. “For the town to now have a brand new complex, it will only help facilitate further community connection and growth, as well as benefit surrounding communities and visiting sporting teams, who will be able to utilise the complex at competitions and championships.”

The new sporting and community facility is aptly named after the late Clem Thompson.  Mr Thompson lived in Tom Price in the late seventies and early eighties and was a great supporter of local senior and junior sports before tragically passing away at just 40 years of age. He was the first person to play 200 Fortescue National Football League (FNFL) games and represented the FNFL 26 times. Across his sporting journey, Mr Thompson won five Ashworth Medals and was a life member of the FNFL and Townsite Eagles Football Club.

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Media Enquiries Contact:
Kylie Hartley
Corporate Communications & Media Advisor
Shire of Ashburton
Ph:  (08) 9188 4444