The Phillip Island Breakers Soccer Club have been the beneficiaries of a funding grant from the Victorian Government’s World Game Facilities Fund, upgrading their pavilion at Newhaven Reserve to make it more female friendly.
The club have received around $400,000 in funding from the state government, a significant portion of the $3.8 million the Andrews Government has handed out to 11 community football infrastructure projects since May of this year.
Alongside this, the Bass Coast Shire Council have also financially contributed to the project and played a major role in convincing the government to hand over the funding grant to the club.
“We were selected because of the council’s work; we went to them (Bass Strait Shire Council) and they put the grant application in,” Phillip Island Breakers SC president, Andrea Dempsey, told Soccerscene.
“They were successful last year with another club in the council and they decided to apply for the female friendly facilities at our club because they were needed. It was a thing that we actually had identified well before, that we really needed.”
Under the details of the redevelopments, the club’s changing room space will be expanded considerably, according to Dempsey.
“It will be expanded in a way that will eventually leave the building with four main spaces,” she said.
“We’ll have two big dividable rooms, so we can have two female and two male changerooms with both of them having access to showers and toilets.”
The Phillip Island Breakers SC president is excited for the benefits that are set to coincide with the upgrades, with building set to begin later this year.
“The plan has already been drawn up; Building has to commence by the end of the year – so hopefully in the coming months a bit of work has been done,” she said.
“It’s just so good that we are getting female friendly facilities, we have got more and more girls coming to the club and that was the one thing that we were lacking.
“There wasn’t enough space or very minimal space for the women to change into.
“There was no privacy for the showers for example, it wasn’t female friendly at all. So, hopefully this will allow for more opportunities for women to join the club and feel welcome in an inclusive environment.”
The club itself was founded 27 years ago as an indoor soccer club before transitioning to an outdoor outfit playing its matches in the local Gippsland Soccer League, after moving from the Bayside Soccer League many years ago.
Team ages range from seniors to under 6’s, both boys and girls, with the club hosting over 170 playing members.
According to Dempsey, a push for further upgrades at the club will be pursued in due time to take the club to the next level.
“Yeah we’ll try to (to get more funding for upgrades), everyone always is, aren’t they?
“The next thing we are going to possibly look for is tin shelters on our pitch for those out in the wet weather in winter.
“At the moment we don’t have any protection for teams and those people on the sidelines, so that’s what we will try for next, but for now we are looking forward to the pavilion works.”
Since 2018, the World Game Facilities Fund has invested $13.2 million in 48 football infrastructure projects across Victoria, with an overall value of more than $41 million.
“Better sport and recreation facilities make it easier for Victorians to get active and lead healthy lifestyles,” said Minister for Community Sport, Ros Spence.
“We’re providing clubs with support for really important projects that will make the world of difference for local communities.”
Football Victoria CEO, Kimon Taliadoros, said of the fund: “Football breaks down barriers and brings communities together – we’re delighted to see even more clubs being able to meet community demand through the latest round of the World Game Facilities Fund.”
The next round of applications for the World Game Facilities Fund will be open next month, for more information visit the link here.