Whitehorse City Council unveil new pavilion for RHL Sparks Reserve West

RHL Sparks Reserve

Members of Box Hill United FC and the wider footballing community are going to enjoy an improved experience at RHL Sparks Reserve West, as a new facility has officially been opened.

The RHL Sparks Reserve West Pavilion includes state-of-the-art amenities, including four change rooms, umpires’ change rooms, public toilets, a first-aid room, storage facilities, a kiosk, covered external concourse for spectator viewing and impressive landscaping works.

Additionally, the reconfigured car park and entry from Canterbury Rd ensures safe and easy access to the facility.

Whitehorse City Council contributed over $3.1 million to this project, signalling their intentions to make this a facility for all, leading into the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“As a Council, we are committed to maintaining and improving existing facilities and promoting active participation in recreation and leisure by providing upgraded and improved facilities that everyone in our community can enjoy,” Whitehorse City Council Mayor Mark Lane said at the pavilion’s launch.

“It’s important to recognise the role of community sporting clubs in Whitehorse, and the significance of investing in our built environment to support this.

“The pavilion represents more than just a building; it is a strategic investment by the Council. By providing high-quality facilities like this, we enable our local clubs to facilitate participation opportunities for our community. It is through such investments that we can foster a sense of belonging, pride and unity among our residents.

“I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who has contributed to this project, from the planning to the final completion. This pavilion is a testament to what we can achieve when we work together as a community.”

Another integral component for the pavilion development is the Victorian State Government, who put $500,000 towards the facility via the 2020-21 World Game Facilities Fund.

Paul Hamer, MP for Box Hill, was on hand to share his thoughts on the completed project.

“After going through a tour of the facility, it just reaffirms how fantastic it really is,” he said in a statement.

“There’s been a lot of details that have really been considered in terms of how the facilities have been used.

“Reflecting on some of the early discussions that I’ve had with the committee at Box Hill United, it’s something that they’ve been pushing for throughout many years.

“It provides such an open environment that’s really easy for parents, visitors and friends to come and watch – these facilities are needed as it’s such a great outcome for all involved.”

As a leader to improve football facilities at the club, Box Hill United President George Petheriotis was thrilled to see the pavilion come to fruition.

Located across the road from Wembley Park, home of Box Hill United, RHL Sparks Reserve West is now at a standard to welcome more participants from all backgrounds.

“After 100 years of football here at Box Hill United, we finally have a facility for our community to enjoy, gather, and feel happy and comfortable within,” Petheriotis said in a statement.

“We are very grateful to everyone that made this happen, including past and present board members who worked tirelessly for this outcome.

“I would also like to thank the City of Whitehorse for recognising the need for a year-round surface at this venue. As such, they are currently completing the synthetic field feasibility study.

“Particularly in the year of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, we now look to leave a much-required legacy for the next 100 years of footballers of all ages, genders and without discrimination.

“Only with the support of councillors, the City of Whitehorse, Paul Hamer and Carina Garland would we have been able to achieve the completion of this wonderful facility at its fullest – we appreciate their support.”

The pavilion at RHL Sparks will no doubt be a positive influence on the long-term future of Box Hill United, catering for teams across men’s, women’s and junior competitions.

Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

An amenities refresher for NSW grassroots custodian

The NSW Football Legacy Program has worked in conjunction with the Bayside Council in providing $150,000 to the Bexley North Football Club (BNFC) who join the vast growing number of successful applicants of the Infrastructure Stream, which is the second round screening process.

The Football Legacy program is a $10 million investment founded by the NSW Government. The program’s intention is to continue the established growth of female football through freshly refurbished community facilities.

Furthermore, development programs, participation initiatives and potential ventures involving tourism and international engagement are all at the forefront of the overall objective the NSW government has regarding the growth of football within the state.

The $150,000 grant in which BNFC are receiving is going to be spent sparingly. Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve is in dire need of a rejuvenation, given the club’s recent rise to popular interest within the Football St George Association, BNFC experienced an astounding spike in membership.

Since the 2021 season, the club witnessed a spike in members, a 35% increase surge in overall involvement, highlighted by a 40% increase in female involvement.

The traffic that the club began to experience was a confronting yet exciting time for the community operated club. Their previous facilities could not cater for the extravagant influx of participants, hence the club opting to collaborate with the Bayside Council.

The grant successfully attained will be used to upgrade the amenities at Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve from top to bottom. The newly furbished facility has hosts a conference room, referee room, medical room, canteen, and storage area.

Further funding requested by BNFC is expected to be utilized in rejuvenating the current change rooms and bathrooms, as well as a through fixup of the established home and away locker rooms. The end goal insight, is to accommodate highly regarded women’s footballing outlets in the future.

BNFC President Eddie Yazbeck, mentioned the importance of what this grant will provide.

“We have worked closely with Bayside Council to develop a site plan for Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve and together we applied for the NSW Football Legacy Fund to help make our vision a reality,” he said via press release. 

“This grant will deliver a much-needed infrastructure upgrade, addressing concerns such as accessibility and safety, improved canteen facilities, storage for our kits, change rooms for players and referees.”

The Facilities and Grants Officer at Football NSW, James Spanoudakis, also added via media release. 

“Amenity buildings are the heart and soul of all football clubs across NSW,” he said.

The new amenities is expected to be completed towards the conclusion of 2024, ready to go for the 2025 winter season.   

Melbourne City proudly unveil their state-of-the-art-facilities

Melbourne City have proudly showcased their clubs latest project through the unveiling of their new state-of-the-art-facility, located at Casey Fields in Cranbourne.

The City Football Academy Melbourne continues to push the already established high-standards in which football across Australia are beginning to reach. The facility will host the men’s and women’s teams, as well as the club’s grassroot program, and an administration office is also involved in the newly developed location.

The Melbourne based club were inspired by their British parent and European juggernauts Manchester City have some of, if not the best facilities in world football. Melbourne City’s latest facility was developed in accordance to the structure and framework relating to Manchester City.

Within the newly furnished building, it’s features are acknowledged to stand out amongst other rival A-League entity’s. A 60-seat theatre and community classroom was installed to host club officials and guests, 16 changerooms combined with Hydrotherapy pools and two gyms, all designed to propel their playing personnel in achieving their peak athletic condition. Administration spaces where also created for Sports Science, Sports Medicine and club officials to all reside in.

The official opening took place on April 10 by City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM, and Melbourne City FC Vice Chairman Simon Pearce.

Located at the Casey Fields Sporting precinct in which is building quite the resume within the tenants it has acquired in various codes of sport across the state. The 5,900m2 facility that City now possess in their arsenal sits on eleven hectares of land, upon it they have five different football pitches, with varying surfaces.

The opportunities in which this facility presents to football fans and participants alike, are in abundance, 3,500 aspiring young football participants will be able to use the facilities on offer, with many more able to spectate City matches in which may be played at their Academy.

Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse stated via press release:

“This amazing facility will be the new home to our Men’s, Women’s, Academy, and Administration teams, and will allow us to come together under the one roof to train, share ideas and challenge each other every single day.

“We’re setting new standards for football in Australia and laying the foundations for sustainable growth, on and off the pitch.”

With the latest edition of the McDonald’s City Cup being played at the newly launched facility, the tournament was a token showcasing that the clubs elite are not the only ones who will benefit from the facility but also local footballing communities in addition.

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