Benalla’s junior sports kick a funding goal
30 July 2018
Young people pulling on the boots to play footy in Benalla will have somewhere to get changed if The Nationals are elected to government in November.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan today made a commitment of $250,000 towards building a new multipurpose clubroom.
The rooms will include toilets, changerooms, a meeting space and a canteen to give junior football, cricket and women’s football a home at the Arundel St oval.
“Mums and dads volunteering to run the canteen at junior footy and cricket work from a tin shed, while kids are getting changed in old livestock stalls or in their cars,” Ms Ryan said.
“I’ve watched the footy on a winter’s day and it’s chilly work for players and volunteers! If kids need to use the bathroom, they have to cross the road between the back oval and the Lakeside Centre, which is dangerous on busy game days.”
Ms Ryan said the Benalla and District Junior Football League had about 400 junior players between the ages of 5 and 16 on its books, including more than 30 girls. The rooms will also be used by Benalla’s junior cricketers during the cricket season.
“I’m a big fan of junior sport because it builds great life skills like confidence, teamwork and decision-making. I believe these kinds of projects are far more deserving of support than the $225 million windfall the Andrews Labor Government is handing the AFL to renovate Etihad Stadium,” Ms Ryan said.
“I’ve been talking to the league for months about how we can progress their plans and I’m pleased to give them a commitment that The Nationals, in government, will contribute $250,000 to new, multipurpose clubrooms.
“The league has more than $100,000 of its own money it is willing to invest in the project, and it is hopeful it will receive a contribution from council.”
Benalla Junior and District Football League President Darren Skelton said the improvements would pave the way for increased junior sport participation in Benalla.
“As a community it's extremely important that we continue to invest in facilities which will help keep our children involved in sport and healthy activities,” Mr Skelton said.
“We are seeing a significant increase in the number of girls playing football and cricket, and upgraded facilities will provide opportunities for continued growth in the future.”