New Western Pavilion to support women’s sport

Women’s sport is set to be given a boost, with City of Melbourne Councillors considering final concepts for a redevelopment of Western Pavilion at Royal Park.

​Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said plans for the $2.6 million development include gender-neutral change rooms to allow more women and girls to play sport.

“We’re working to make sure community sport survives the COVID-19 restrictions and comes back even stronger,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said. 
“Our local sporting clubs are the heart and soul of our communities. These clubs are about more than sport – they help people connect and combat social isolation.” 
“Many people are doing it tough right now because playing sport is great for our physical, mental and social health. This investment means our sporting clubs will be able to get back out on the field when the time is right.” 
If endorsed, design plans for Western Pavilion will proceed to tender, with construction planned to begin in December this year.
“We’ve talked to local clubs, and they’ve told us that they need better change rooms, better storage and a more accessible facility,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said.
“The new Western Pavilion will provide change rooms for umpires, plus four gender-neutral change rooms – which means more teams can use the facilities.
“We’ve also included spaces for social activities and food preparation, so that the pavilion can cater for a range of groups in our community.”
People City portfolio chair, Councillor Beverley Pinder, said the new facilities would help more women and girls play traditionally male-dominated sports such as Aussie Rules football, soccer and cricket. 
“Across the city our sporting facilities are usually in high demand, with 375 community teams using them each week, including 90 teams made up of women and girls,” Cr Pinder said.
“We’re investing in women’s and community sport to diversify our facilities to encourage even more women and girls to take marks and hit sixes.”
Western Pavilion is one of three pavilions in Royal Park earmarked for upgrade, with plans for Brens Pavilion and Ryder Pavilion to be considered at a future meeting, following community consultation.
The Deputy Lord Mayor said there was an opportunity for Federal and State Governments to contribute to the economic recovery from COVID-19 by providing stimulus funds to upgrade community facilities.  
“By investing in our community now we can create a legacy for Melbourne,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said.
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