When the winter months roll around, nearly 2,500 netball players of all ages and around 7,000 spectators gather at the Lyneham Netball Centre every Saturday.
The centre’s ageing facilities that were built in the 1970s is struggling to cope with the activity and volume of volunteers, participants, and spectators, and shockingly has no change rooms and only has access to one toilet block that does not cater for members with mobility issues or living with a disability.
But that is all about to change this season as the centre is set to undergo major upgrades in the coming months, thanks to a $450,000 grant from the Government, announced by ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja last week.
The funding will go towards upgrades to the Canberra Netball Association’s facilities, including upgrades to original toilet block facilities as well as refurbishing and extending the main building to add changing rooms for players and umpires, a community meeting room and a kitchenette.
There will also be seating and shelter for spectators, an undercover area for fundraising BBQs and greater storage space.
ACT Senator Zed Seselja said the grant, which is part of the second round of the Liberal-National government’s $30 million community sport infrastructure program, is a significant investment in the Canberra community.
“We know grassroots sports help drive increased participation and promote social, health and community benefits of physical activity and sport – a key priority for our government,” he said.
“Sport plays an important role in the lives of many Canberrans, and with the upgrades to include a community meeting room with a kitchenette, the benefits of the upgrades to the Canberra Netball Association’s facilities will be felt more broadly by the Canberra community.
“I’m delighted to be able to provide this grant, which will improve the experience of the players, parents and volunteers who spend many hours each week here, and continue to build grassroots sports participation across Canberra.”
Canberra Netball Association said the upgraded facilities will help them retain existing participation and improve their experience of netball but arguably will increase participation and sense of community.