COAL CAPITAL'S LOFTY AMBITIONS
Blackwater’s Coal Capital Speedway is a venue with an eye firmly on the future, as Club President Nathan Pershouse and Vice President Leon Walmsley have an ambitious plan to turn a hidden gem into the jewel in the crown of Central Queensland Speedway.
It would be fair to say that if competitors and fans were to put together a bucket list of ‘must visit’ Australian venues, Coal Capital Speedway may not be one of the first to spring to mind, mainly due to its under-the-radar activities in recent years. That could very well change in the near future.
Coal Capital was at a crossroads at the beginning of 2019, with little more than $2,000 in the bank. It’s viability as a venue was being called into question, with some left wondering if they were ‘flogging a dead horse’.
It was at this point Nathan Pershouse put his hand up to take the reigns as Club President. For Nathan, the initial goal was simple. “As a track, we needed to be more integrated with the Speedway community, and better engage with local business and community groups”.
The venue joined Speedway Australia in mid-2019, with Nathan and Leon quick to engage Speedway Australia’s assistance to apply for a number of State and Federal Government grants to assist with upgrades to the venue. Their initial application – a $10,000 funding grant for the back straight catch fence, was approved by the Federal Government in September 2019. Since then a raft of successful applications have amounted in $66,000 of funding to the club, together with a further $20,000 in funding from local business groups, all of whom are supportive of the club’s efforts to revitalise the Blackwater venue.
With this cash injection, Coal Capital Speedway's goal is to continue works at the venue. A catch fence upgrade is currently underway, with the Cub replacing the existing main straight structures with a 4-Star safety fence and installing new posts and wire rope along the back stretch.
Brand-new canteen and bar facilities are also in the planning phase, as the club looks to better facilitate the large crowds which have been drawn back to the reinvigorated venue.The completion of these works will see this venue rise from a minimum-spec 1-Star venue, up to a to Speedway Australia 4-Star facility. An incredible achievement for a venue had only that $2,000 in the bank less than 18 months ago.
For the Coal Capital Speedway Club, this is merely the first step in their ambitious plan to bring major features – including Australian Titles, and a potential World Series Sprintcars event to the Central West Queensland venue in the future.
Given their enviable track record in such a short space of time, it would take a brave person to bet against them achieving these goals!
Project Summary: Funding for a Speedway Australia 4-star fence for the entire venue
Project Benefits: $66,000 in grants and $20,000 sponsorship
Project Timeframe: 8 months