TWO central Victorian netball clubs have been awarded for their commitment to the sport and determination to improve sporting facilities within their local communities.
Netball Victoria announced Castlemaine & District Netball Association and North Bendigo FNC as recipients of the awards.
Castlemaine and District Netball Association president Ken Maddern said the club had been focused on improving its facilities for the last 15 years.
“We have been working hard with the local shire to bring six new courts, a female friendly sports pavilion and a shared cycling facility,” Maddern said.
“It’s the combination of a lot of hardwork and a great feeling for all of it to come together.”
The club was awarded within the Small Association of the Year category for its commitment to redeveloping the facilities at Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve.
The club’s netball facilities are frequented by the 600 strong players who are part of the association, and now they will have a place to call home.
“It’s somewhere we can hang our hats and we can say ‘this is ours’, it’s a place to come back to after training and an ideal location for social events,” Maddern said.
“Teams such as the Castlemaine Football Club also use the facilities and social netball players use it on Wednesday nights, these facilities are for the whole shire.”
The $500 that was given to the club through the award will be used to help fund further redevelopments of its facilities.
North Bendigo Football Netball Club was awarded within the WorkSafe Safety Initiative category for its commitment to upgrading access to medical facilities for netball players and a childcare facility for players with babies.
The club’s grants officer Russell Boyd said after they had set up a temporary marquee for shelter beside their netball courts it was used primarily for childcare.
“I thought the netball players would use it just for shelter. But from day one it had become childcare,” Boyd said.
“They were using it for breastfeeding and as a safe place to leave their children while they were out on court.”
After Boyd posted an image of Jordan Arthur receiving physiotherapy treatment while minding her daughter Remi, there was a drive to create permanent facilities at the club.
“It’s great that the players don’t have to worry about their children and I noticed a sense of relief once the facilities became available to them,” Boyd said.
The $2000 that was given to the club through the award will be put towards the fit-out of the childcare component which is housed within the club’s social rooms.
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