Drouin sport and community to thrive with new multi-use pavilion

Published: 11 May 2022

Young girl kicking a soccer ball at Drouin Dragons Soccer Club

If you want to see a good example of hard work paying off, look no further than Drouin Dragons Soccer Club.

Founded in 1975, the club started its life with no permanent home and a canteen run out of a caravan.

"They were definitely humble beginnings," said the club’s President, Jason Beer.

Those days are now long gone, with the club now home to 250 members and experiencing strong growth every year.

Jason credits generations of volunteers for the club's success.

"Volunteers are the backbone of community sporting clubs and our club is no exception," he said.

But strong growth presents its own challenges.

"We have different age groups and different genders playing for our club and requiring different levels of support," said Jason.

"It became clear that the existing club room wasn't meeting our needs and was well past its use-by date," he added.

Soon, these issues will be a thing of the past, thanks to the construction of the Bellbird Park East Multi-Use Pavilion.

Front entrance of Bellbird Park Pavillion

The $4.1 million pavilion will offer four new accessible change rooms and a multi-use community space with a commercial kitchen and accessible toilets.

Accompanying these will be two rooms for officials, office and meeting spaces, a first-aid room and a new, 186-space car park.

Supported by $2 million from the Victorian Government's Growing Suburbs Fund and delivered in partnership with Baw Baw Shire Council, the pavilion will become a hub for community sport and the wider Drouin community.

It will also be the home of Drouin Dragons Soccer Club, West Gippsland Hockey Association and Drouin Cricket Club.

"Drouin is a fast-growing community and sporting clubs are a great way for people to connect," said Jason.

“This pavilion is much needed. Not just for sports clubs, but also for wider community groups.

It will allow us to run functions, train coaches and attract larger events such as the Victorian Junior Country Championships . It will also mean we can host girls' gala days and exhibition matches, and encourage more sports participation,” he added.

Aerial view of a building

Jason is also confident the new facilities will help the club recruit and keep more volunteers.

"We have the potential to be one of the largest soccer clubs in Gippsland in a few years' time, and keeping a strong base of volunteers is important to support this growth," he explained.

With construction underway, Jason is looking forward to the next phase in the club's history.

"The future is looking very bright."

The Bellbird Park East Multi-Use Pavilion is set to open in mid-2023.

Page last updated 11 May 2022
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