Telemark Nordic Ski Club's second shot at funding from Wodonga Council

Telemark Nordic Ski Club could provide Wodonga with Commonwealth Games level facilities for biathlon and other shooting sports that would be an Australian-first, but needs a council grant to finish the first stage of development.

Club founder Bob Cranage went in front of councillors on Monday morning to try to convince them to reverse their decision to knock back a request for $16,389 in funding.

About $50,000 had already been raised through sporting grants and donations to complete about three-quarters of the project.

The biathlon facility includes an eight-lane, 100-metre bitumen roller ski track supporting able-bodied athletes and disabled athletes in wheelchairs.

But the club ran over budget when it struck rock during excavations and had to completely redesign the target pit. Now most of the track remains unsealed.

“I’m hoping the council will decide to support the project financially … we need assistance to complete it,” Mr Cranage said.

“One completed, this will be unique in Australia.

“It doesn’t happen and it hasn’t happened anywhere – it will be something special for Wodonga.”

Telemark Nordic Ski Club hoped it could increase its small membership of about 40 with the upgrades, plus offer facilities to the community to try out the sport or hold team-building events.

“The facility, once developed, could be a Commonwealth Games facility,” Mr Cranage said.

“We just don’t want to leave a project that a lot of work has gone into.”

The funding application was mafe in conjunction with the Australian Biathlon Association and Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia Wodonga branch.

It also included letters of support from the Australian Paralympic Committee, Australian Biathlon Association, and Ski and Snowboard Australia.

Paralympic performance manager Tim Matthews said the Wodonga facility could increase opportunities for para-athletes.

“The expansion and development of the Wodonga SSAA range facility would significantly contribute towards the development of additional disciplines, with the view to increasing the number of sports Australia supports and competes in at the Winter Olympic Games,” he said.