Minister opens finished works
Victorian Tourism, Sport and Major Events Minister Martin Pakula has visited the Wimmera to celebrate major sporting development projects in Dimboola and Nhill.
Mr Pakula officially opened new clubrooms and irrigation system at Dimboola Recreation Reserve and used the occasion to speak about Nhill’s new Jaypex Park skate park.
The projects received major funding support from the State Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund and Country Football Netball Program.
Dimboola’s pavilion has transformed and now has changerooms designed for females as well as males, a femalefriendly changeroom for umpires, new first-aid room and upgraded storage.
The pavilion project is part of Dimboola Football Netball Club efforts to provide first-rate sporting opportunities for women and girls in the Wimmera.
Dimboola club president Justin Ward said developments at the reserve were the result of a collaborative effort between state and local governments and club volunteers.
“It means so much for the club now in regard to the retention of players, umpires, members who can hang around after a game for the whole club to enjoy. It’s just been tremendous,” he said.
Mr Ward said the club and broader community were proud of the what the reserve offered for Dimboola.
“It is so much more than just football and netball. We have the human-powered vehicles racing here, we have the Dimboola Regatta, and an international skiing competition – it’s a great precinct,” he said.
He added that the next project would be to extend food and entertainment facilities.
“We just want to take it to the next level so when people come they can feel welcome, not only by club members but by the facilities. There are always things in the pipeline,” he said.
Mr Pakula told guests at a presentation during his visit that clubs such as Dimboola played a key role in country areas.
“We’re proud to have supported the building of facilities that give an equal footing to women and girls who want to play sport,” he said.
“The pavilion is also available for school use and events, making the club even more central to the community.”
Mr Pakula said skate facilities at Jaypex Park in Nhill were also a massive boost to the town’s skaters and BMX riders who now had ‘a cutting-edge course for casual fun and a facility capable of staging competitions’.
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy congratulated Nhill and Dimboola communities and Hindmarsh Shire Council on their strong advocacy in securing funding for the projects.
She said it had been a fantastic effort, adding that it was disappointing Mr Pakula had missed an opportunity to visit Nhill to see the skate park first hand.
“I know there are members of the Nhill community who would have loved the opportunity to also show the minister the grandstand and need for refurbishment of clubrooms at Davis Park,” she said.
“Personally I can’t wait to attend the first Victorian Skate Park League competition at the skate park tomorrow to celebrate the opening of this fantastic new facility with the local community.
“Who knows, I might even get my skates on myself.”
ON THE BALL: Martin Pakula and Ron Ismay with Dimboola netballers Tara Petschel, Brook Ward, Tehya Clarke, Rochelle Krahe, Tilli Menzel, Paige Glover and Isobelle Schorback at the opening of Dimboola’s new netball rooms. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER