Cheering on: Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle, Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison with her kids, Johanna and Sophia, and Cr Samantha McIntosh welcome the news of a female change room upgrade. Photo: RUBY STALEY

Mars upgrades brings hope of AFLW matches

September 24, 2020 BY

MARS Stadium has received the green light to start on a redevelopment of new competition-level female change rooms as well as other capital works.

Following the announcement of the upgrades young football player Molly Tigchelaar said it would be great to see both female and male players accommodated.

“It would be amazing for the AFLW to come and play here because people in the Ballarat community could come and watch them and even aspire to be the women playing in the AFLW,” she said.

“It’s awesome knowing that everyone in Ballarat is getting behind the girls footy and making it happen and giving people more opportunity to come in and play.

“Gives me a bit of hope for the future and makes me want to continue playing footy.”

Joining Ms Tigchelaar at Mars for the announcement last week were Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle, Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison, and City of Ballarat Cr Samantha McIntosh.

Costing $600,000, the works which Ms Addison said were overdue, come as part of the Victorian Government’s $6.6 million commitment to Mars Stadium.

“We are all incredibly disappointed not to have AFL in Ballarat this year but with the important upgrades we’re announcing today we are very hopeful that we will be able to get some AFLW games here in 2021,” she said.

“We have to do everything we possibly can do to encourage girls to continue with their sport and love their sport.

“Upgrading the female friendly change rooms is the first step, we will also be upgrading the entrance to the stadium, additional toilets, improving game day experience by having permanent food outlets.”

Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle said that the Victorian Government has been committed to the female friendly change room project right around the state.

“These kinds of projects send a message that sport is for everybody,” she said.

Construction on the change rooms is set to commence over the coming weeks to be completed by December 2020, in time for the 2021 AFL and AFLW season.

Adrian Matherson, director of CIQ Construction Management, the firm engaged to undertake the change room upgrade, was happy to be undertaking the work.

“It’s fantastic to see the City of Ballarat supporting local sub-contractors and local suppliers,” he said.

“It’s particularly good to provide local jobs in the current climate.”