Redbacks’ home ground works underway
BUNINYONG’s Royal Park is receiving two full-sized senior soccer pitches, with male and female friendly changerooms, which will benefit Buninyong Redbacks Soccer Club and the broader community.
The City of Ballarat’s $1.8 million works began last week, with McMahons Pty Ltd creating the pitches. Fresh landscaping, new drainage systems, fences and lighting are all part of the project’s completion which is expected to take three months.
Redbacks’ president, Sue Mroczkowski said the club has been advocating for the facilities upgrade for many years as Royal Park was an “obvious” home ground location.
“We were travelling really well up until a couple of years ago, with two senior men’s teams. They had to train in Ballarat, although they were wearing Buninyong colours,” she said.
“That didn’t really lift the profile in Buninyong, so we’re hoping this will do that. People have drifted away since we haven’t had any facilities, so we’re keen to build those numbers again and attract some coaches with some experience.”
Moving towards the first kick off, Ms Mroczkowski hopes the pitches will be ready for next season, and the inclusive facilities will attract more diverse athletes, whether new, experienced or just social players.
“We’re looking at having a whole new start, being like a real soccer club. There’s a very positive future,” she said.
“We are about finding girls that haven’t played soccer before and introducing them to the sport. My own daughter, who wasn’t a sporty person, loves it and has grown in confidence.
“My hope is that we’ll be able to do social sporting games here for all ages, like ultimate frisbee and touch footy, that use similar sized pitches. For exercise and enjoyment, it’s important.”
City of Ballarat mayor, Cr Ben Taylor said the transformation at Royal Park will be “amazing.”
“There’s a whole lot of history here, from football many years ago, to Little Aths on Friday nights, through to Buninyong Sustainability,” he said.
“These works are creating a full community centre. We’re about having facilities across the city for people to be active and involved, and bringing the whole community together.
“This is stage one, and stage two is more community facilities, the garden component, meeting rooms and space. That requires a bit over $1 million… We’re looking at that as part of State and Federal government funding and maybe that economic stimulus from COVID-19.”