The number of fixed seats at the Mike Barnett Sports Complex will increase by 500 after WA Senator Michaelia Cash last week announced almost $200,000 in Federal funding towards upgrading and improving the facilities.

Ms Cash, who visited the centre on Wednesday, said additional retractable seating on the western side of the Rockingham Flames’ home court would help cater for the club’s increasing following.

“Sport is so much more than the physical exercise, it’s about community, it’s about participation, it’s about creating a family feel, … you want the community to come here and feel that they have a place that is theirs,” she said.

“An additional 500 seats, given that they already have 1000 people here, will make all the difference — in particular to the demographic of people who can come along to an event.”

The funding is part of the Community Sport Infrastructure Grant program to help drive participation in sports and physical activity.

Rockingham Basketball and Recreation Association president and Rockingham Flames SBL president Warren Boucaut said volunteers put out about 600 seats by hand each game to cater for the club’s growing following.

“This will make a tremendous difference in what we can do, but also what we can accommodate,” he said.

The new seating is expected to be installed by July.

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