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New netball courts officially opened at Wesley Hill

Netballers playing

The new netball courts at Wesley Hill were officially opened on the weekend, with a great turn out of players and spectators.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

An excited crowd gathered on Saturday morning for the official opening of the new netball courts and other works completed as part of $1.9 million stage one upgrade to Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve.

Mount Alexander Shire Mayor Bronwen Machin and local councillors were joined by Minister for Regional Communities, Minister for Sport, Senator Bridget McKenzie and Wesley Hill Outdoor Committee President Ken Maddern to officially open the courts.

“It’s great to have brand new courts and all of the other facilities that go with that, including netball shelters, seating for spectators and floodlights for the players,” said Minister McKenzie.

“As Minister for Sport I want to see more Australians, more active, more often and this quality facility will help local kids and families make for a fuller use of the reserve,” she said.

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said the upgrade would enable the Castlemaine Junior Netball Club to host more tournaments, thereby providing the shire with social and economic benefits.

“This is a great outcome for the community, the Australian Government is proud to deliver projects that make such a big difference for local residents and their families,” said Dr McVeigh.

“This represents the first component of a $4.43 million upgrade to sporting facilities at Wesley Hill. This is an investment in facilities, but importantly, also an investment in the health of our community,” said Mayor Bronwen Machin.

“The three old asphalt netball courts that were constructed about 50 years ago have now been replaced with six beautiful new courts, along with netball shelters, off street car parking, landscaping and new cricket nets,” said Cr Machin.

“The project would not have been possible without the input of the community, the Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve Committee of Management and the Mount Alexander Community Enterprise who have worked hard over many years with Council to develop the reserve master plan,” she said.

“Thank you to the generous support of the Australian Government who provided $1.9 million towards our facility, and helped progress this significant step towards Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve becoming a genuine home for junior sport.”

President of the Castlemaine District Netball Association Ken Maddern acknowledged the strong working relationship with Council to complete the project.

“We worked very closely with Council and staff from concept, to design and then throughout construction,” said Mr Maddern.

“It’s so positive to see this kind of investment in our facilities and makes all the difference for players both now and for years to come,” he said.

Local netballers enjoyed an energetic 20 minute game to officially open the courts and launch the 2018 netball season.

Attendees enjoyed a free breakfast and entertainment by Thompson’s Foundry Band. Smaller members of the crowd made the most of a free bouncy castle and face painting.

This project was made possible thanks to funding from the Australian Government Community Development Grants Programme.

Council has begun the $2.43 million multipurpose pavilion as part of the second stage of the reserve upgrade. The pavilion includes unisex change rooms for netball, cycling and junior football, umpires change rooms, first aid, public amenities, office space, a kiosk and storage.

Image: Netballers help to open the new courts and launch the 2018 season.

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