Shining light for community sport
Pictured above: Mitchell Shire Mayor Cr Rhonda Sanderson and Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green MP with community user group representatives at the launch of the Greenhill Reserve Oval Lighting project.
In a boon for community sport in Wallan, Greenhill Reserve will soon be hosting night football and netball matches thanks to the installation of competition-standard lighting on the netball courts and main oval.
Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green MP was joined by Mitchell Shire Council and community user group representatives to officially flick the switch on the lighting this week, which is set to benefit the more than 700 players and their families who use Greenhill Reserve.
These numbers are set to swell with the new lighting providing the opportunity to expand competitions and accommodate more teams and players.
Greenhill Reserve is home to:
- Wallan Football Netball Club
- Wallan Junior Football Club
- Wallan District Cricket Club
These clubs have been active in developing a more inclusive female-friendly environment and fostering female participation in sport and recreation.
In the past three years, there has been a 40 per cent increase in female participation across football, netball and cricket. Maintaining participation levels in the COVID recovery period is going to be a challenge for many sports clubs across Mitchell. Providing improved facilities will help attract and retain participants.
The new lighting towers on the oval will provide lighting suitable for training and competition standards for Australian rules football. Most excitingly, the clubs will be able to host night matches under lights.
The reserve has seen two netball courts constructed over the past 5 years. Until now, these courts had no permanently installed lighting, with user groups relying on temporary lighting for training.
Netballers will now be able train under lights and potentially play night games in the future.
The installation of these lights will also help address the high demand for court space in the southern part of the shire.
In the past 18 months Greenhill Reserve has received more than $890,000 in grant funding from Sport and Recreation Victoria with Mitchell Shire contributing a further $740,000 towards four key projects.
The $128,500 Netball Court Lighting Project received $83,525 from Sport and Recreation Victoria with Council contributing $44,975. The Main Oval Lighting Project received $208,800 from Sport and Recreation Victoria and $104,200 Council contribution.
The other two projects are the Cricket Net Reconstruction project, which is currently underway, and the Main Oval Female Friendly Changeroom Conversion.
The Cricket Net Reconstruction project has received $100,000 from Sport and Recreation Victoria, $171,000 from Mitchell Shire and $50,000 from Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia.
The State Government has contributed $500,000 to the Main Oval Female Friendly Changeroom Conversion project and Mitchell Council has contributed $420,000.
The Wallan Football Netball Club start their 2021 campaign in the Riddell District Football Netball League taking on Romsey on Saturday (17 April). The action kicks off at 10am at Greenhill Reserve.
More photos from the official opening
Comments from Mayor Cr Rhonda Sanderson
"Sports clubs are vital to our towns and we will continue to invest in facilities to meet the demand and attract new members to our sporting organisations," she said.
“We are a growing shire and part of our role as Council is to work with our government and community partners to help provide facilities and the opportunity to play sport and connect.
"With the population of Wallan set to increase by more 200 per cent in the next 20 years, we need to keep investing in local sporting facilities."
"Local sport brings people together and Mitchell Shire is committed to working with the State Government to provide state-of-the-art sporting facilities for our communities.
Comments from Greenhill Reserve Committee of Management President Neal Langborne
"These lights will make a huge difference to our club and our community, it means we will be able to welcome new players and build the ranks of our junior, women’s and men’s teams," he said.
This page was last updated on 16 April 2021.