A sod turning ceremony has been held to mark the start of the $2.8 million redevelopment of the Pat Rollo Reserve pavilion at Frankston North.
Frankston City Council Mayor Kris Bolam said the redevelopment is a strong step toward increasing female participation in football.
Mayor Bolam said: “This redevelopment will support the growing numbers of girls and young women wanting to play football – not just in Frankston North, but across the regional league.
“A recent sporting club survey showed us that only 39 per cent of participants within Frankston City identify as female.
“We want everyone to have the same access and opportunities to sport and leisure and that means removing barriers – such as inadequate change rooms and toilets – and introducing modern and engaging places and spaces,” Mayor Bolam said.
The new facility will be used by Pines Football Netball Club, Pines Junior Football Club, Pines Cricket Club and students from nearby Aldercourt Primary School. The existing Pat Rollo Reserve pavilion was built more than 40 years ago and players currently bring demountable change rooms when fixtures require them.
The $2.8 million redevelopment will include two new female-friendly change rooms, umpires rooms, accessible toilets, a kitchen and kiosk, a meeting room and a social room, transforming this facility for the residents of Frankston North.
The Minister for Community Sport, Ros Spence, and the State Member for Frankston, Paul Edbrooke MP, both attended the sod turning ceremony. Mayor Bolam thanked the State Government for its significant contribution to the project.
Mr Edbrooke said: “The new Pat Rollo Reserve pavilion upgrade is another huge commitment to the Frankston North community.
“Notably it will provide inclusive modern facilities to support our local clubs, umpires and our female players,” Mr Edbrooke said.
In addition to the redeveloped pavilion, the combined State Government and Council investment has contributed towards further improvements to the reserve that build on recently installed lighting.
Pines Football Netball Club (women’s football) vice president, Kim Jackson, said the new pavilion will strengthen the club, the league and the community.
Mrs Jackson said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Council is investing in the club and the area this way.
“By having great facilities and infrastructure for the smaller clubs, it will provide more diversity in the competition.”
Mrs Jackson said the female players in the club ranged from Under-16 to women in their 30s who had wanted to play when they were younger but didn’t have the opportunity.
The club is also receiving inquiries about the potential for Under-12 and Under-14 girls' teams.
Mrs Jackson said: “We want to encourage families to become part of the club and stay to socialise rather than drop off and walk away.
“We’re trying to develop a sense of belonging in the Frankston North community through kids playing sport together, and encouraging people to become part of the club. I think this will give them a welcoming place that they’ll feel proud to belong to,” Mrs Jackson said.
The works are due to be completed by mid-2022.
Frankston Council CEO Phil Cantillon, Deputy Mayor Nathan Conroy, Mayor Kris Bolam, Minister for Community Sport, Ros Spence, State Member for Frankston, Paul Edbrooke MP, Pines Cricket Club President, Brad Saunders, and Pines Football Netball Club President, Jeff Svigos, with (front) Aldercourt Primary School students Rishaylen and Taylah at the sod turning ceremony.