In what is one of the most major announcements in the history of the Leeming Sports Association (and therefore the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club), we can today formally announce that we have taken a major step towards securing the funding we need to make the long-talked-about second oval at the John Connell Reserve a reality.

This is all thanks to an incredible funding announcement from the Federal Labor team and Sam Lim, who is the candidate for the Federal Seat of Tangney in which the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club is situated. If elected, Sam and an Albanese Government will deliver $650,000.00 to the Leeming Sports Association for this exact purpose.

The commitment is on the back of the $625,000.00 we received from the re-elected State Government last year for the upgrade of our change rooms, and this latest announcement, if it is to come to fruition, will allow us to complete the final component of our John Connell Reserve “masterplan” – one that has been in the works for more than thirty years.

The recent announcement of this amazing commitment from Sam Lim and his Labor team means that the Leeming Sports Association, the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club and Leeming Strikers Football Club will have the funds necessary to complete the extension of the John Connell Reserve playing field to incorporate two cricket ovals and three soccer pitches.

As regular readers of our website and members of the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club know all too well, we have been pursuing this project for more than three decades because we know it will have such a major impact on the longterm success of the clubs that use the ground and provide major opportunities to our many members. 

Our push is to have the John Connell Reserve upgraded in all facets after many years of neglect, and the pinnacle of this endeavour is to see the John Connell Reserve extended to incorporate a second cricket oval. We are so passionate about this because of the necessity of the project, and we have worked tirelessly to see it come about – particularly over the past three seasons.

Local sporting clubs are such an integral component of society. They provide everyone – regardless of ability, background, gender or standing the chance to be part of a great social environment that is inclusive of all, and brings everyone together under the same cause. It is a well-known fact the positive impact clubs such as ours play on people’s mental and physical health, the way it gives us all something to look forward to each week and gets us out and about in the community.

The fact that we have such a large playing field that can only host one game at a time is incredibly detrimental to our Club and to our members, many of whom are playing all over the metropolitan area each week just to represent the Club. This means they are unlikely to come back to our clubhouse at John Connell Reserve after their games to partake in the many additional social offerings the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club has each night, and won’t get the opportunity to properly involve oneself with the entire club. 

To put it simply, a second oval will change all of that, and allow us to forgo the ground at Peter Ellis Reserve which has zero facilities and no toilets which during a six-hour game of cricket can understandably become a real issue. 

Sam Lim and Federal Labor’s commitment shows that they deeply recognise and understand the lost opportunities the Leeming Sports Association face and most importantly the fact that our members are missing out on basic necessities and the chance to properly engage with the sports clubs. Sam’s contribution and announcement was highlighted recently in an article on the PerthNow website, which you can read by clicking the button below.

Read The PerthNow Article For More Information

Labor candidate for the seat of Tangney, Sam Lim with Leeming Spartan Cricket Club president Peter Coombs.

This $650,000 commitment from Sam Lim and WA Labor may finally see the Leeming Sports Association’s 30-year project come to fruition. 

This is an enormous opportunity for the Leeming Sports Association and our members – including the more than 280 playing, social, and family members that belong to the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club. For many years this project has been pushed for by our members, dating back to when we first moved onto the ground as our main playing oval and location of our clubhouse in the early eighties. 

What’s more is that this commitment will be fulfilled so long as an Albanese Government is elected at the upcoming Federal election on May 21st – meaning we have in our capacity the best-ever opportunity to make this project possible.

The Federal candidate for Tangney, Mr Sam Lim, has met with the officials of the Leeming Sports Association and Leeming Spartan Cricket Club on many occasions now and has heard firsthand our concerns and struggles in our mission to extend the oval, something that has been heavily hampered by those within the City of Melville. 

We recognise that this figure of $650,000.00 is an enormous one for the purposes of undertaking an extension of the oval, but is based on figures we have received from the City. There is a lot of history in the project including environmental concerns and impact on neighbouring residents – all things that have time and time again been proven to be no issue, most namely in a 2021 environmental survey of the area in question that was commissioned by the local government. 

This means that thanks to this potential funding from Sam Lim, we have taken a massive step towards making the John Connell Reserve upgrade a reality and shows our commitment towards bringing this project to fruition. This comes on the back of the stage one upgrades at the Reserve from Dr Jags MLA and Yaz Mubarakai MLA which are seeing the change rooms being upgraded to incorporate four change rooms and facilities for all users, including for the first time, women players. 

Two ovals is so important for the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club. Our reasoning is clear – we are a Club on the brink of capacity and are wanting to expand and incorporate women’s teams for the first time, meaning we need to ensure we do not turn any prospective members away because of the lack of available sides that we field. The City of Melville have gone so far as to recognise the John Connell Reserve as one of only two grounds in the City with opportunity for expansion. The growth in social sport and numbers of players further highlights the demand is here and has been for many years. We regularly field 7 to 9 teams each season meaning we need at least four home grounds.

For our fourth ground we turned desperately several years ago to the City of Canning, who were extremely accommodating and provided us with the Burrendah Reserve, and we have since upgraded and moved to the Shelley Reserve in the same shire. It is with regards to a prospective fifth ground that the problem lays, in that there isn’t one available.

Such is our current predicament, the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club has 3 grounds in the City of Melville – the actual council in which we are based – and needed to desperately turn to the City of Canning just to accommodate the seven or more sides we typically field. The issue is more apparent than ever before as we look to field 8 next season.

With the John Connell change rooms set to commence construction later next month, our focus is very much ensuring we don’t have to wait any longer for the oval extension to begin. With a focus to achieve all components in a timely manner after waiting 30 years, the 2022 Federal Election serves as the perfect opportunity for us to make it possible and get it done.

Labor’s candidate for the seat of Tangney, Sam Lim.

This stage two development now rests in the hands of a Labor victory at the 2022 Federal Election with the party the only one at this time to have made any commitment to our important cause. We are continuing to work closely with our current member for Tangney, Hon Ben Morton MP, who is well across the issues faced by the Club and has also been an enormous supporter of the project, however no formal commitment has yet been made. 

Sam Lim meanwhile has announced the commitment back in early February once funding was approved by Party Office in Canberra, and he serves as our best opportunity to make this John Connell Reserve project possible. 

Sam is a fantastic candidate for the seat of Tangney and is a real shot at achieving a Labor victory in the seat, having been extremely proactive in visiting the community since October last year. He has made many trips to the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club, most recently earlier this month when he did a tour of the Leeming Sports Association alongside Premier Mark McGowan and our State Member for Riverton and major sponsor, Dr Jags Krishnan.

Sam Lim is a current Western Australian police officer, serving in Operation TIDE which saw him on the front lines of WA’s COVID-19 response, and he noted firsthand the impact the virus has had on community sport, which is why he is so eager to help in any way he can. Sam was in 2020 awarded the Western Australian Police Officer of the Year, is (incredibly) a former dolphin trainer, speaks over 10 languages and is the eldest of eight children.

Sam was born in Malaysia in 1961 to very hardworking parents, and since moving to Australia with his family in 2006, he has been committed to helping people in any way possible. From his time living in Willetton where he raised his own children, Sam can attest to the fact that he knows families in Tangney want good jobs, quality education, and strong health care. Additionally, he has seen firsthand the importance of social community groups and sports clubs and has made it his mission to ensure they are looked after at this upcoming 2022 Federal election. 

City of Melville mayor George Gear said he welcomed any contribution to assist with the costs of upgrading John Connell Reserve.

“Should future funding become available, the City would welcome such a contribution to this key community project in our south eastern area of the City,” said Mayor Gear.

The WA Labor Candidate for Tangney, Sam Lim, said recently that “following several meetings with the Leeming Sports Association, it was explained to me just how long they had been pursuing this goal – overlooked for more than thirty years. Finally now we have a chance to make this project a reality and I am so delighted to be able to commit to such a worthwhile project.”

Sam added that he is “a strong supporter of community sport, and the rise of women’s participation in sport means that governments need to invest to make it accessible to all. Moreover, when clubs as successful and as proud as both the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club and Leeming Strikers Football Club already have so much history and so many achievements, they as the pinnacle of their community thoroughly deserve the chance to provide even greater opportunities to new players.”

The announcement of $650,000 to the Leeming Sports Association at the 2022 Federal Election is more than just a welcome one. It is one that puts us in the ultimate position to make the expansion and upgrade of the John Connell Reserve a reality. We’ve been advised that if Sam is ultimately unsuccessful in the seat of Tangney but Federal Labor do oust the sitting Morrison Government then the commitment will be honoured. 

The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club is hopeful that the commitment will be matched by other parties prior to the election as it would enable us to ensure the project goes ahead which is without a doubt our focus.

For over 30 years the LSA has been fighting to secure an extension to the existing ground. A contribution like this will significantly benefit the 1,000 plus members at the LSA, and the wider community will also be able to take advantage of the development well into the future.

Everyone at the club understands and appreciates the stress that discussions with the City of Melville have placed on the club and its management committee. Endless checks, stonewalling, and obstruction has meant we have had to continually petition the council for upgrades that were promised to us years ago.

If elected, the commitment by Mr Lim and the Australian Labor Party would represent the largest single contribution to the Association in its long history.

We are extremely grateful to Sam and his Labor team for seeing the importance of the John Connell Reserve expansion project and we cannot thank him enough for the commitment of $650,000.00 towards it.

Thanks Sam!

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WA Labor Candidate for Tangney Sam Lim (left) alongside Premier Mark McGowan, Councillor Jennifer Spanbroek, Spartan Graeme Tysoe, our local Member for Riverton Dr Jags Krishnan MLA and members from the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club and Leeming Strikers Football Club standing next to the John Connell change room schematics in early April 2022.

Leeming Sports Association’s 30-Year Dream Realised

Sunday, 24th April 2022

  • Sam Lim and an Albanese Labor Government will deliver $650,000 for sports and recreation in Leeming if elected.
  • A commitment of $650,000 will be delivered to the Leeming Sports Association if the Albanese Government is elected so as to develop a new playing field at the John Connell Reserve in Leeming – a project more than 30 years in the making.
  • This follows a $625,000 commitment from the McGowan WA Labor Government to upgrade the change room facilities at the John Connell Sporting Reserve in Leeming, modernising change rooms to cater for the women and girl’s cricket and soccer teams.

An Albanese Labor Government will deliver $650,000 to develop a new playing field at John Connell Reserve in Leeming to support the next generation of athletes in our community.

The Leeming Sports Association has been fighting to secure a new playing field for more than 30 years. Now, with the support of Sam Lim, Labor’s candidate for Tangney and Federal Labor, that dream can finally be realised.

This new playing field will be a gamechanger for the Leeming Sports Association and will ensure our local community can access the sporting facilities they deserve.

Only a Federal Labor Government will stand up for our community and deliver the infrastructure we need and deserve.

Quotes attributed to Sam Lim, Labor candidate for Tangney:

  • “I am a big supporter of community sport. Participation in community sport doesn’t just contribute to physical wellness, it creates strong social bonds, improves mental health and builds stronger communities.”
  • “An extra playing ground at John Connell Reserve will ensure our community can access the sporting facilities we deserve, well into the future.”
  • “Following several meetings with the Leeming Sports Association, they explained to me just how long they had been pursuing this goal – always overlooked for more than thirty years. Finally now we have a chance to make this project a reality.”
  • “It is a project that makes absolute sense and the more than 1000 regular members of the clubs will see a great level of benefit from making it possible.”

Quotes attributed to Madeleine King MP, Shadow Minister for Trade and Resources:

  • “Sam Lim has been standing up for his community, to make sure they secure the funding they need and deserve.”
  • “Sam doesn’t take his community for granted; he’s working every day to secure a better future for the community of Tangney, and this commitment is another such example.”

Quotes attributed to Peter Coombs, President of the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club:

  • “This commitment is long overdue; we have been petitioning the local council for three decades for a new playing field.”
  • “This project will significantly benefit the 1,000-plus members of the Leeming Sports Association and hundreds of other users of the venue.”
  • “This is an enormous victory for the community, and we sincerely thank Sam Lim and Labor for this election commitment.”
  • “Labor’s election commitment is enough to complete the entire John Connell Reserve development, and we look forward to it’s completion.”
  • “This funding commitment from Sam Lim and Labor will enable community sport to grow in our area. This is a huge win for Tangney and our community.”

Media Contacts: Laurence Coleman – 0409 797 311 (KING) and Tim Grey-Smith – 0432 226 323 (LIM)

Birds-eye view of the John Connell Reserve and how a second oval may be incorporated into the ground. Click the image to learn more.

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