Today, 26 June, saw the first sod turned at Grafton Sports Centre to mark the beginning of construction of the new PCYC Grafton development.
15-year-old Nana Glen local involved with PCYC NSW’s Fit for Work program, Hailey Phemister turned the ceremonial first sod alongside CEO of PCYC NSW Dominic Teakle, Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan MP, Mayor of Clarence Valley Councillor Jim Simmons and Detective Chief Inspector Paul Simpkins of the Youth and Crime Prevention Command in front of a crowd of community stakeholders and supporters.
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do before I joined PCYC NSW’s Fit for Work program. Now I have clear goals to achieve and I have secured a job in hospitality. It feels good to have goals and a future to look forward to,” shared Hailey.
“PCYC NSW has helped me a lot and I feel lucky to have access to PCYC Coffs Harbour. It’s exciting that PCYC is coming to Grafton because it means more kids like me can benefit.”
PCYC NSW is committed to delivering a modern, fit-for-purpose community sport and recreation facility for the entire community of Clarence Valley. The sod turning marks a substantial milestone in this.
“At PCYC NSW, we work to empower young people to reach their full potential. We do this through sporting, recreation and leadership programs that young people can relate to and genuinely engage with. Today’s sod turning ceremony brings us one important step closer to delivering this for the Grafton community and we are grateful for their continued support and help in shaping the future of PCYC Grafton,” said Dominic Teakle, CEO, PCYC NSW.
PCYC NSW was built on a foundation of partnerships, particularly with Police, and the development of PCYC Grafton further highlights the importance of this ongoing tradition.
“We have started working in the Clarence Valley community with the Coffs Clarence Police District and have seen first-hand what can be achieved when collaboration occurs between Police Commands, government and community groups to support young people. Our Fit for Life and Fit for Work programs have been operating in Grafton for a number of months now which have seen many young people grow in confidence and opportunities. We look forward to seeing more positive results as PCYC Grafton becomes a reality,” said Detective Chief Inspector Paul Simpkins, Youth and Crime Prevention Command, NSW Police.
The establishment of a PCYC facility in Grafton is a result of Clarence Valley Council, Coffs Clarence Police Command and donors like the John Laing Charitable Trust and Serco Foundation’s combined passion for supporting the young people and community of Clarence Valley.
“PCYC is a terrific organisation and it is great that they are opening a centre here in Grafton,” said Kevin Hogan MP, Federal Member for Page.
“The wide range of programs offered by PCYC help young people develop the skills to reach their full potential. I know there is certainly a lot of young people in Grafton who are eager to take part in these programs.”
The sentiment is shared by many in the community.
“We value our kids and a PCYC will help keep our young people fit and healthy in both mind and body,” said Chris Gulaptis MP, Member for Clarence.
“I applaud PCYC NSW for investing in our youth, and thank everyone who has worked in partnership with them in helping bring this much needed facility to fruition.”
PCYC NSW is working to ensure the new Grafton facility will meet the needs of the community and prides itself on taking a tailored and collaborative community-focused approach. This will remain at the centre of development plans for PCYC Grafton.
“The benefits of a PCYC are well recognised by this community, and various groups and different levels of government have worked hard and cooperatively to make it a reality,” said Clarence Valley Mayor, Jim Simmons.
“We have already seen some of the benefits and I can’t wait until it is fully operational.”