Today I had two opportunities to see the impact federal government funding is having on infrastructure for elite and community sport in Victoria.
I started my day off in Geelong with my two colleagues, Richard Marles, Member for Corio and Darren Cheeseman, Member for Corangamite for a presenatation and tour of the redevelopment happening at the Kardinia Park precinct, specifically at Simonds Stadium.
Guided by the CEO of the Geelong Football Club, Brian Cook, we had a good look at how the stadium redevelopment was proceeding.
The Federal Government Grant is a contribution towards the construction of 4 light towers. The stadium will seat around 34,000 when the new stand is finished, which will be around the end of May 2013. The lights will be 1400 lux meaning they are of broadcast quality for the AFL and Cricket. At this stage the Cats can only start their games at certain timeS to ensure they don’t play into the dark. Soon this will no longer be a constraint for them and I’m sure Brian and the people of Geelong are hoping for a few more home games!
In the afternoon I was invited down to Melbourne Olympic Park Precinct to view the ground work for the soon to be established community centre as part of the Collingwood Footy Club.
I was shown around the building site by the President of Collingwood Eddie McGuire, Board Member (and Board Member of the ASC) Alisa Camplin, CEO Gary Pert, representatives from Coffey Projects Rob McFee and Corey Mackay and Andrew Croxon from Croxon Ramsey Architects.
Due to the relocation of the VIS, CFC are looking to expand the elite training facilities to make them available to members of the community with a particular focus on women.
With a strong emphasis on accessibility and the creation of a safe sport and recreation hub, on completion the new community centre will have multiple benefits including the following:
• Safe, direct links to the Botanic Gardens, the Tan and Yarra River Bike trail
• Bike storage facilities and direct link to the Melbourne CBD
• Host community fun runs and walks
Decent change room facilities for all, with an emphasis on the needs of women
• Weekend junior football carnival events
Lighting for night and early morning training on the oval.
This inclusive approach to sport and rec. facilities will make it easier for the people of Melbourne to live fit and healthy lives. The openess, ammenity and accessibility of the venue is innovative in an era where fences are more often the norm. I was also impressed with the practical benefits for women for whom training in a safe place with adequate lighting and decent change facilities is much needed but sadly a rare thing.
So today I saw some great examples of how elite sporting teams are sharing their resources with the community and by doing this providing inspiration and encouragement to stay fit and healthy and enjoy sport!