Steph Cooke stands with people in Harden football shirts in front of a green grandstand.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has opened upgrades to Harden’s McLean Oval.

Several NSW Government funding programs have invested in the upgrades, including $144,000 from the Stronger Communities Fund, $112,689 from ClubGrants Category 3 and $731,405 allocated in round two of the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

Ms Cooke announced a further $27,913 from the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund to finish the installation of access ramps, create partition shower doors and new fencing.

Ms Cooke said the finished work reflected the passion of the community for the project.

“McLean Oval has been absolutely transformed and looks incredible, it’s clear this is going to be a space much-loved by players, officials, spectators and visitors,” Ms Cooke said.

“There has been a great amount of community and government support for this project and I congratulate everyone involved in securing the grants that have brought these upgrades to life.”

“I particularly want to celebrate the incredible work of Kai Steele, he has poured his heart and soul in to this project and the finished result is a testament to his dedication and his passion. People like Kai make our communities.”

McLean Oval Project Coordinator Kai Steele said the refurbishment was a dream come true.

“This is fantastic, we’ve now got facilities that can cater to the men and women, as well as any disabled people. Beforehand people were getting changed at home or in their cars. This has made everyone feel included,” Mr Steele said.

“The oval is unrecognisable now, the transformation is incredible. We’ve got new dressing sheds, a new canteen, the perimeter fence has been redone and we’ve got lush green grass.”

“The CRIF funding will allow us to finish up the ramps and finish off this work, creating fully-fledged disabled access and unisex change rooms. Without the help of Steph and the State Government it wouldn’t be possible to have the facility we have. This was an absolute dream of mine and it just goes to show if you put the hard work in anything is possible, even in a small town.”