Published: 19 Nov 2021
As female participation in sport across Victoria continues to boom, so does the need for facilities that cater to both women’s and men’s sporting teams.
Chirnside Park Football Club knows all about this, having established their women’s team back in 2008. That was well before the birth of the AFLW in 2017, with the number of women’s football teams in Victoria growing from 58 in 2010 to over 1,000 by 2019.
The club’s commitment to growing female participation in sport wasn’t quite matched with the facilities at their home ground at Kimberley Recreation Reserve. Their pavilion was built more than 30 years ago by club members and locals. Club Secretary Danielle Skillern remembers the outdated facilities made it tough for the women’s team when they started out.
“Women were getting changed in a curtained-off back bar area with no amenities or showers. Not ideal for promoting women’s football in the area.”
Thankfully, Kimberley Recreation Reserve will soon be home to a state-of-the-art pavilion and amenities because of a $4.72 million redevelopment.
The upgrades will provide a major boost for the football, netball and cricket clubs that use the site, and for the wider community.
The redevelopment includes a community social space, kitchen, two unisex umpire facilities and four universally accessible changerooms with player amenities for both the women’s and men’s teams.
“The fact that we will now have four dedicated changerooms, a much larger umpire’s changeroom facility, proper trainers’ rooms -- all these things are a big plus for the football club,” Danielle said.
There will also be multi-purpose gym area, a first aid room, storage facilities and fully accessible public toilet facilities.
The new pavilion will provide the ideal location for community events. This, Danielle said, will strengthen the link between the club and the community. Prior to the old pavilion being demolished, the site was used by education groups and locals.
The Kimberley Recreation Reserve Community Sporting Pavilion Redevelopment is being delivered by Yarra Ranges Council. It is supported by $1.85 million from the Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund and additional support from the Federal Government.
Construction is due for completion in mid-2022.