Rebekha secures new clubrooms for Birdwood
Birdwood Netball Club has secured a grant for $105,000 to build new clubrooms thanks to the advocacy of the Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.
Photo: Rebekha is pictured with Birdwood Netball Club officials Amanda Schapel, Ben Walsh and Shane Mudge.
The grant will augment the club’s own fundraising and in-kind community support to replace the old clubroom and also build a new storage shed.
“Birdwood is a growing club but over the years the existing structure has deteriorated to the point where members are starting to have safety concerns," Rebekha said.
“There are also no toilets near the clubrooms so players have to cross a busy carpark near the football oval to use an ageing Besser block-style toilet facility where the entrance is not visible from the courts.
"This is a significant safety issue for players and children.
“Right across our community, we are struggling to upgrade our facilities so they meet modern standards for health and safety, disability access and gender inclusiveness.
“Birdwood Netball Club is one of these facilities and they have done a great deal of planning, fundraising and engagement with their members.
"I have connected regularly with club officials and had many positive conversations with the Government about the infrastructure needs at the Birdwood Netball Club.
"I would like to thank the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, for securing this funding through the Community Development Grants Programme.
"We have such a need to upgrade infrastructure in Mayo and I am pleased that in addition to Birdwood Netball Club the Minister has also approved $2 million to finish Stage 1 of the Mount Barker Regional Sports Hub; $550,000 to upgrade facilities at the Encounter Bay Sports Complex; $130,000 to build a new toilet block at the Summertown Community Centre; $60,000 to meet new safety standards at the Mount Compass Community Sports and Social Club; and $30,000 to build a secure shelter at the Clarendon Netball Club."
Birdwood Netball Club President Ben Walsh said the funding would make a significant difference to players, officials and spectators.
“It will now mean that the volunteer coaches and parents don’t need to watch over the junior players whilst they get changed in the public facilities some 300m away from the courts,” Ben said.
“It will also mean that we can now host netball and tennis finals at our courts as we will have the facilities to do so.
“It will mean that we will have somewhere indoors to train and have theory sessions with our 90 players and coaches if the weather is inclement.
“We will be able to hold proper meetings with volunteers indoors.
“Having female facilities at the Birdwood Park area means that we can now support female football teams.
“It will also give our supporters somewhere to sit and watch over all sports played at the courts.
“We would like to thank Rebekha Sharkie again for her wonderful support. She is for all communities in Mayo!”