Boost for women’s sport thanks to multi-million-dollar upgrades to Broadford complex

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Welcome development: Netball and tennis players, in particular, will benefit from a $2.5 million upgrade to Broadford’s Harley Hammond Reserve. Photo by COLSON PHOTOGRAPHY

A $2.5 million upgrade of Broadford’s Harley Hammond Reserve was officially opened on Thursday, July 28, by State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes.

Local netball and tennis clubs are enjoying the benefits of the revamped reserve, including a shared-use pavilion and two dual-use netball-tennis courts with competition standard lighting.

Mitchell Shire Council provided $2 million towards the upgrades with $500,000 from the Victorian Government through Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Female Friendly Facilities Fund.

The Harley Hammond Reserve Committee of Management also contributed almost $14,000 to the project and significant in-kind assistance to deliver it.

The project has greatly improved facilities and participation opportunities for females at the reserve and the shared pavilion will cater for sporting activities as well as broader community use.

Previous netball and tennis club facilities were aged and inappropriate for clubs, with netball players using public toilets and storage sheds to change.

The two dual-purpose courts were unlit and needed renewal.

Harley Hammond Reserve is the premier community sporting reserve in Broadford with more than 530 registered participants.

The reserve is heavily used for netball, tennis, football and cricket throughout the year.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Bill Chisholm said the improvements were important for the involvement of women in sport in the region.

“We are very pleased to provide facilities like this as we know how important sport and recreation is to the Mitchell community,” he said.

“We want to see more women and girls getting involved in local sport and these upgrades make Harley Hammond Reserve much more accessible and welcoming.

“Staying active is important at all life stages and these upgrades mean state-of-the-art facilities are available to everyone in Broadford and surrounds.

“We couldn’t do this without the funding support from the Victorian Government and the Harley Hammond Reserve Committee of Management.”

Cr Chisholm also praised the “tireless” efforts of the Harley Hammond Reserve Committee of Management and the committee and organisers who manage the local sports clubs.

“Without the state government, council and these dedicated people working in unison, these types of projects just do not happen,” he said.

“These ongoing partnerships provide the best possible outcomes for those living in our communities and those that will call Mitchell (Shire) home in years to come.”