Critical sporting infrastructure

Article image - Critical sporting infrastructure Fast tracking sports venue upgrades links to the City’s Active Women and Girls' Strategy.

The City of Ballarat, Victoria, has a plan to become one of Australia’s first councils to strive towards having female friendly facilities in all its sporting facilities.

Council will also look at bringing forward several priority sporting infrastructure projects, including upgrading several of Ballarat’s soccer grounds, replacing ageing bowling greens and providing improved youth recreation spaces.

Community Development Director, Neville Ivey, said it had been identified that rapidly rising participation in sport, particularly by females, was causing increasing demand on Ballarat’s sporting infrastructure, especially soccer, football, netball and cricket grounds.

A recommendation passed by Council at the end of last month proposed borrowing $10 million through the State Government’s $100 million Community Sports Infrastructure Loans Scheme to implement a critical $16 million sporting infrastructure investment over the next two years, instead of the planned five years.

The low-cost loan, available through a special State Government Sport and Recreation program, would be repaid over 10 years and would fast track 30 projects across 20 different clubs in 13 different sports at 16 separate sporting venues, benefiting more than 3,680 participants.

The plan also links in with the City’s Active Women and Girls' Strategy released in July to encourage female participation in sport.