Plans finalised for upgrades

CONCEPTUAL drawings have been finalised for new female-friendly change rooms at Sale Oval.

Both the change rooms under the grandstand and under the ‘Sporties’ clubrooms will be upgraded by the next football-netball season.

There will also be a new unisex toilet block on the Past Players’ Hill with improvements to cater for mobility issues; and a new multi-purpose training court to support Sale Football-Netball Club’s six netball teams.

The federal government provided $880,000 for the project, Wellington Shire Council $525,000 and the John Leslie Foundation $250,000.

Sale FNC president Simon Turnbull said the project would create valuable space for players.

“There are six netball teams all trying to train on one court every Thursday so I know the netballers are very excited about finally getting a second training court,” he said.

“I’m pleased the federal government, with support from Wellington Shire and the John Leslie Foundation, has been able to provide these much-needed funds to improve facilities at Sale’s main oval.

“Improved facilities will help us attract and retain more players and also to better promote our region when we host major events in the area and visiting teams from outside of our region.”

Gippsland MHR Darren Chester said council had been working closely with Sale football-netball and cricket clubs to finalise designs which would support a range of sports at the main oval in Sale.

“Sale Football-Netball Club plays in the Gippsland League at the highest level this side of Melbourne, yet it’s been without suitable netball change rooms and toilets since netball began back in 1996,” he said.

“Likewise, the change rooms under the grandstand, which are mostly used for cricket and football, have not improved much since I played as a junior 35 years ago.

“During that time, public expectations have changed and we have more females playing at the club than ever before so this upgrade is well overdue. I hope the new female-friendly facilities will encourage more females to play and volunteer.”