Footy teams return to field after Hunter Valley wedding bus tragedy

A memorial for members of a local AFL club killed in a bus rollover in the NSW Hunter Valley is under way as their teams prepare to return to the field for the first time since the crash.

In acknowledgement of the 10 people killed in the June crash, the state government has pledged $1.7 million to expand the Singleton Roosters clubhouse and facilities, used by more than 22,000 in the regional community.

The upgrades will include new change rooms, a first-aid room, toilets and internal renovations.

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It’s hoped the improvements will support the development of AFL in the Hunter region by providing a venue that can host future regional tournaments.

The expansion will be jointly funded with $250,000 from the AFL and a separate cash commitment by Singleton Council.

NSW Premier Chris Minns is set to attend the first games of the women’s and men’s teams on Saturday afternoon when he will announce plans to build a memorial for those who lost their lives, ensuring their legacy in the community.

“This investment recognises the emotional toll of the recent bus tragedy, providing a space for healing and unity within the Singleton community,” Mr Minns said.

The clubhouse expansion will also “enrich the social fabric of the region and help the local community heal”, he added.

Sports Minister Steve Kamper said the government is committed to supporting the community as well as local sporting communities across the state.

“Grassroots sporting clubs are the bedrock of communities right across NSW,” he said.

NSW Premier Chris Minns (centre) will be on the sidelines for the first Singleton Roosters games. Credit: AAP

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Singleton Roosters club president Dylan Hixon said the community’s heart remains broken but has been buoyed by the outpouring of support.

“If nothing else, this terrible tragedy has shown the good in people to rally around those doing it tough, particularly following unimaginable hurt,” he said.

Ten guests travelling home from a wedding were killed when their bus rolled onto its side at Greta on its way to Singleton late at night on the June long weekend.

Investigations into the tragedy continue after the bus driver was charged with 10 counts of dangerous driving causing death.

Police allege the bus was going too fast to negotiate a roundabout.

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