Big change for netball

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Bunyip netballers are expected to have access to a new facility by mid-2017, no longer needing to share a single-room change room with the Bunyip Tennis Club.

The State Government Community Sport Infrastructure fund will see $100,000 invested in a new building at the Bunyip Showgrounds Reserve.

Plans indicate the facility will house players’ change rooms for home and visiting clubs, toilets, showers, a social space and undercover viewing area.

Bunyip Netball Club president Tracie Wright said that both the netball and tennis club were outgrowing the current single-room facility.

“The change rooms face the tennis courts but our netballers have a bit of a trek to get to the netball courts. It wasn’t practical or user-friendly,” she said.

“Storage has also become a problem because we have portable rings, netball posts, balls and other equipment that we need space to store.

“We ended up building a temporary storage shed last year and some of the girls also used that as a change room.

“We’ve spent two seasons working out of that shed. It just wasn’t ideal and I’m not sure how long we could have gone on like that for.”

Ms Wright said the old facility “didn’t even have hot running water” and that often club meetings would be held in the football club facilities.

“There’s a real shift towards women in sport these days and netball is particularly popular in this country. I can see so many benefits of having a facility that we can be proud of when other clubs visit our grounds and hopefully they will attract more community involvement too.”

Minister for Sport John Eren said community sport was the heart and soul of Gippsland, during his visit to the site last Friday.

“We’re upgrading grassroots facilities to give families the facilities they deserve and clubs a home they can be proud of,” Mr Eren said.

“New facilities at Bunyip will mean no more getting changed in car parks or on the side of the netball courts.”

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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