Victoria Park Football Club have received significant funding for facility upgrades in recent months, at the club’s home ground in Military Drive.
The Ballarat based club has received resurfacing and lighting works through funding from the local Ballarat City Council, as well as a $500,000 grant for a new female-friendly pavilion through the Victorian Government’s World Game Facilities Fund.
Whilst the $1.3 million ground and lighting upgrades are close to fully completed, construction on the pavilion is set to commence in the coming weeks.
Victoria Park Football Club president, Sean O’Meara, explained to Soccerscene the urgent need for the new and improved pavilion.
“It’s very important for us to receive these upgrades, O’Meara said.
“We’ve been in the same building since the 80’s basically, so this upgrade will provide us with a social area, kitchen, canteen and other areas for us to use so we can build on our community.
“There will be two sets of changerooms in the new facility, which will provide a more welcoming environment for female participants and hopefully help us regain some of the female participants that we have lost.
“We can also now hold events there, where previously we would have had to hire out an outside venue which cost us more money as a club.”
The club and the wider community are currently reaping the rewards of the new field and lighting upgrades which have been implemented at Military Drive.
“At the moment, the wider community are seeing the benefits of the upgraded field,” O’Meara said.
“They use it for general activity, exercise and young families use it a lot.
“For us as a club, the new surfaces will play a major part in drawing in new players which will help the club in the future.”
The club at once stage had over 200 players registered at the club, across three senior and nine junior teams.
Speaking at the time of the announcement of the World Game Facilities funding grant, City of Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney, welcomed the investment.
“We’re really grateful for the state’s support of this important project. Soccer is one of our strongest participation sports and Victoria Park is at the gateway to our fast-growing western suburbs, so this upgrade will have a significant impact for hundreds of players at senior and junior levels,” Councillor Moloney said.
“This supports the $1.3 million resurfacing and lighting works completed and underway at the facility, which together will enhance the status of Victoria Park as one of city’s most important community spaces.”
Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison MP, added at the announcement: “As we know from similar projects across Ballarat, upgraded facilities make it much easier for our community clubs to attract and retain players, and female friendly facilities help to level the playing field when comes to participation in sport. I’m confident this project, with the support of $500,000 from the Victorian Government, will help make that happen here too.”
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 are now open, for more information visit the link here.