Female friendly facilities for Victoria Park

Work has officially begun on the facilities upgrade at Daylesford’s Victoria Park. 

HELP: Soccer club committee member David Endacott, President Josh Smith, MP Mary-Anne Thomas, life member Marton Szokolai and Mayor John Cottrell. Photo: Kate Healy

HELP: Soccer club committee member David Endacott, President Josh Smith, MP Mary-Anne Thomas, life member Marton Szokolai and Mayor John Cottrell. Photo: Kate Healy

Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas last Friday announced the commencement of the upgrade to the pavilion at oval two, which will include the construction of female friendly facilities. 

The female friendly facilities upgrade is being completed with $100,000 allocated through the government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund - Female Friendly Facilities, as well as $120,000 of funding from Hepburn Shire Council.

The announcement comes after a string of grants to upgrade sporting facilities at other clubs around the shire, including in Hepburn, Newlyn and Trentham. 

The facilities, which are currently used by the Daylesford and Hepburn United Soccer Club as well as junior football players from the Daylesford Football Netball Club are very out of date and unsuitable for women, despite more than 110 players regularly utilising the sporting pavilion and change rooms. This number includes around 45 female footballers.

The upgrade to the pavilion will include Hepburn Shire’s first purpose built soccer specific facility as well as upgrades to the existing change rooms, while making all amenities female friendly and accessible to all. In addition to these upgrades, a new first aid room, office and additional storage space will be constructed.

Daylesford and Hepburn United Soccer Club President Josh Smith said the upgrades would be excellent.

He said the club had a 35 per cent female participation rate, including the club’s first under 11’s girls squad, which had grown to 20 players in its first year. 

“If done well, clubs like ours can be a refuge, a safe place. Where health, fitness, teamwork and competition provide a break from the pressures of school, home and work. If we are doing our job as a club, our players should love the game, love sport, love participation and cherish their time with team mates,” he said. 

Ms Thomas said female participation in sport was on the rise which meant facilities were required to cater for the growing number of participants. “Women and girls should never have to get changed in the back of a car or in a public toilet block to participate in sport.”