Dubbo Aussie Rules players will finally have a space to call their own, thanks to the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.
Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders has today announced the Dubbo Junior Australian Rules Football Club has received $553,954 to convert the former Girl Guides Hall into a clubhouse, and construct female change facilities.
“Dubbo’s junior and senior AFL clubs have grown significantly in the past few years, but the women and girls have always had to share space with the men,” Mr Saunders said.
“This upgrade will give the female players a private place to shower and change after games, and a place to come together afterwards.
“This will really complement the new clubhouse, as well as the amenities upgrade already underway at South Dubbo Oval, which the NSW Government contributed $350,000 towards,
“After 40 years, AFL in Dubbo will finally have a place to call home.”
The project will see the construction of female change facilities, including showers, toilets, bench seating and a large change area, which will be connected to the existing structure. The converted Guide Hall will be opened up to create a family-friendly clubhouse, with a viewing area overlooking the fields, along with accessible ramps. The whole facility will be fenced and lit to improve safety.
President of the Dubbo Junior AFL Club Merinda Roll said female participation across the two clubs has grown by 430% in the past three years.
“Before games the girls are changing in the toilets or even in their cars, and by the time the men have showered after games there’s often no hot water,” Ms Roll said.
“It’s very exciting to give all our female participants a change space they’ve never had before, and really pay that respect that the girls are just as important as the boys in football.”
“We’ve never had a place to come together for the highs and lows that a club has.”
Dubbo Regional Council leased the former Guide Hall to the two AFL clubs last year, and Mayor Stephen Lawrence welcomed the funding for the clubs to make the space their own.
“With this grant from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund, junior AFL in the region will be able to provide player facilities that can keep pace with the growth and popularity of the sport in this area,” Councillor Lawrence said.
“The re-purposing of an existing building and upgrade to amenities will make for a grade-A clubhouse for the current and next generation of young footballers.”