Lara United scores goal with new facilities

Soccer players in Lara will
enjoy more space and increased comfort after the official opening of upgraded
facilities at Lara United Football Club.

The $950,000 upgrade has been co-funded by the City of Greater Geelong
($850,000) and the Victorian Government via its ‘Change our Game’ fund
($100,000).

Works include new female friendly changerooms, a kitchen, social space and
first aid room.

The new facilities were officially opened by Windermere Ward councillors
Anthony Aitken and Kylie Grzybek alongside Member for Lara, The Hon. John Eren
MP, and club president Aaron Pettman.

Lara United is a growing community club with more than 260 active players from
miniroo to senior level, with around 40 per cent of these players being female.

The new facilities allow the club to meet Football Federation Victoria
standards, giving it an improved ability to attract more girls and women to
participate.

Through a partnership with Leisure Networks, Lara United is also making a
positive impact in the community by improving access to soccer for people of
all abilities.

Mayor Bruce
Harwood:

The impact of strong grassroots sporting
clubs on the overall health and wellbeing of our local communities can’t be
undersold.

With these
facilities, Lara United now has a better chance of attracting junior girls to
the sport and developing them all the way through to senior level, where
hopefully some will go on to even bigger things.

Councillor Kylie Grzybek, Windermere Ward:

The council was proud
to make a major investment in these new facilities that will help Lara United
become an even better place to play and socialise, especially for girls and
women.

The club had been finding it impossible to fit everyone in, with some teams
having to change in the car park. They now have enough space for two matches to
be played at the same time, with girls and boys able to play side-by-side
and change separately in modern, comfortable facilities.

We thank the state government for its investment in the “Change Our Game”
project delivering female-friendly built environments and equitable
facility usage policies, in particular in Lara through its
funding contribution for this project.

Councillor Anthony Aitken, Windermere Ward:

Lara United is a fantastic sporting
club in our north that’s leading the way in encouraging participation among all
members of our community regardless of gender or ability.

With a growing population in the Lara area, it’s important that we see
continued investment in new and upgraded facilities that help keep this
community strong, healthy and happy.

Council is pleased to help the growth of a non-traditional but increasingly
popular sport in this country such as soccer, and these facilities also meet
our strategic aim of improving access for females to participate.

Congratulations to the Lara United committee on its persistence in seeing this
project through from a vision to reality.

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