A new sporting pavilion and community hub is planned for the Gardens Oval as part a master plan to upgrade the reserve.
It is proposed that the new building, which will replace the existing clubrooms and outbuildings, will include change rooms for footballers, netballers and umpires, a canteen/kitchen, a function room and storage.
The club was a key contributor in the planed upgrades, which will see new change room amenities to be used by both the club and campers.
The two netball/ tennis courts will be retained and a third multi-purpose netball court added, which will include line markings for other sports and games. Other proposed changes include upgraded lighting around the oval and netball courts.
A new family recreation precinct, with a new playground, shelter, seating and barbecue and picnic facilities, has also been included.
Moyne Shire manager recreation and community development Jacquie Anderton said the plan considered the growth of the club and the perceived need for extra playing surfaces.
Other considerations are the oval’s management, shared use between community events and sporting competition and safe playing surfaces. “The (Hampden) league bring in demands for expectations of facilities for future competition requirements, particularly in the future with females participating in football,” Mrs Anderton said. “The league certainly has identified that their facilities are not going to meet future needs. Even as it is with the change rooms for the netballers, it suffices but it’s ready for consideration to bring it up today. Especially if we’re looking at the future of female football teams.”
Port Fairy premiership netballer Nicole Dwyer said the revamp was much needed and that the park facilities had not changed in 10 years.
She said currently netballers had to use three separate facilities to shower, change and go to the toilet and co-locating them in a modern building wasn't too much to ask. “People now expect if you go to a camp ground you could go to the toilet and have a shower in the same building,” she said. “With the ones closest to the netball court they’re heavily used but they’re not joined together.
She also welcomed the extra netball court. “With 10 teams we struggle to find a time for enough court space to train on two courts. With growing numbers we literally can’t. There’s a team that has to go and train at another venue at the moment. It splits the club and it splits families.
“It’s definitely a study that should have been done many years ago but we appreciate that they’re finally doing something about it now.”