The new $4.63 million Ballam Park South Pavilion is in full action – enabling the Peninsula Strikers Junior Football Club to host 24 junior soccer teams at Ballam Park last weekend with a new kitchen and kiosk, eight female-friendly change rooms, suitable spaces for umpires, a large social space and new public toilets for park users.
The new pavilion provided female-friendly amenities for around 70 girls and young women in the first home-game round of the season.
The pavilion and new sports lighting gives the Peninsula Strikers Junior Football Club state-of-the-art facilities that better serve its growing ranks, particularly female players.
Frankston City Council Mayor Kris Bolam said he expects the new facilities to make Ballam Park a favoured destination for soccer players and their families for many years to come.
Mayor Bolam said: “The new pavilion and lighting will provide a level of comfort for players, coaches, umpires and supporters that those coming to this park for soccer have not experienced before.
“The significant number of girls and young women who train and play here, in particular, now have the amenities to support them, and room for growth in their teams into the future.”
Club officials said the new facilities have provided a huge boost and the potential for more growth.
Junior Club President Rob Harrington said: “In our old facility, the girls all used to crowd in to the public toilets to get changed or arrive already changed so the new change rooms are already making a huge difference for them.”
Senior Club President Adrian Scialpi said: “There is absolutely a ‘wow’ factor when you turn the lights on. Having them also takes the pressure off the weekend fixtures by providing another field where the Premier League teams can play at night during the week, leaving more slots for junior games on the weekend and allowing opportunities to train in better conditions.”
The new pavilion has been built thanks to funding from Frankston City Council ($4.23 million), the Federal Government ($300,000) and the State Government ($100,000), while new sports lighting was jointly funded by the Council and State Government ($181,000 each). The Peninsula Strikers Junior Football Club will also contribute $50,000 towards the project.
Liberal Senator for Victoria, David Van, said: “We’re not just giving the local community a female friendly state of the art sporting facility, we’re also helping to bring more people into the local area and boosting the region’s business and economy.
“This upgrade will assure the future of the local football clubs as they will now be able to attract and retain new members.
“This is just one of many projects that the Morrison Government has delivered recently that reflect our commitment to provide sustainable, accessible and quality facilities,” Senator Van said.
Federal Member for Dunkley, Peta Murphy, said: “This terrific new pavilion and lighting upgrade will allow Peninsula Strikers Junior Football Club to grow and reach more people in our local community.
“I am really excited that this project will benefit hundreds of local sportspersons, particularly girls and women,” Ms Murphy said.
The State Member for Frankston, Paul Edbrooke MP, said: “I’m proud to have been able to partner with Council to provide this fantastic new pavilion which will provide modern, clean and accessible facilities for the sportspeople who call Ballam Park South Pavilion home.
“This redevelopment is part of a record pipeline of modernising sports facilities across Frankston and includes parking and lighting improvements to ensure this pavilion will be suitable well into the future,” Mr Edbrooke said.
Mayor Bolam and Council CEO Phil Cantillon launched the pavilion and new sports lighting recently with Senator Van, Ms Murphy, State Minister for Community Sport, Ros Spence MP, Mr Edbrooke MP, and sporting clubs representatives.
Peninsula Strikers Junior Football Club is the largest junior soccer club serving the central Frankston area with players ranging from Under-5s to Under-18s. Older players who want to extend their playing or aim for elite competition gain a pathway through the Peninsula Strikers Senior Football Club.
In other great news for the Ballam Park precinct, parking is easier too, thanks to a new asphalt sealed overflow carpark near the dog agility training area.
As well as the asphalt works to create 40 formal car parks, including a disabled bay, two new linking footpaths have been created, with a total length of 120 metres. Kerbs are made from recycled bluestone recovered from infrastructure renewal programs.
These works will be further enhanced during May with the provision of three solar lights to improve night time illumination of the carpark and tree planting around its perimeter.