Steve Leigh (Eastern Reserve Committee of Management), Neville Mawson (Winchelsea Lions Club), Cr Heather Wellington, Lesley Mathison, Senator David Van and Surf Coast Shire mayor Rose Hodge open the pavilion. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

Eastern Reserve scores new netball pavilion

September 12, 2019 BY

NETBALL facilities in Winchelsea have shot up in quality with the official opening of a new pavilion at Eastern Reserve.

Victorian Coalition Senator David Van joined mayor Rose Hodge and Cr Heather Wellington from the Surf Coast Shire to officially open the project last week.

The pavilion meets all the Netball Victoria guidelines and includes undercover seating for spectators, female-friendly change rooms for teams and umpire, public toilets, a first aid room and equipment storage.

The $712,342 facility was mostly funded by the shire ($458,251) and the federal government’s Building Better Regions Fund ($200,000) but also received contributions from the Winchelsea Football Netball Club ($30,000), Eastern Reserve Committee ($15,000) and the Winchelsea Lions Club ($9,091).

Winchelsea Blues netballer Lesley Mathison, who played 660 games over 43 seasons before she decided to retire this year, said she was very proud of the pavilion and it would allow the club to offer netball all year round.

“It’s finally getting this facility built, which sees us having one of the best, if not the best, in the GDFL and probably one of the best in the Geelong district.

“This, to me, is like a dream come true, having put up with our old weatherboard shed since the time I walked in here as a 20-year-old in 1976.

“Our aim is to keep our juniors here and have them playing all year round… this is a step in the right direction.”

Cr Wellington said she believed upgrading the pavilion was the first project brought to her when she became a councillor in the Winchelsea Ward about seven years ago.

“It felt a long way away at that time and it was really desperately needed, and sometimes it feels it’s never going to happen, but it has, and sometimes the waiting makes it all the more exciting when it does happen.”

Senator Van said he had opened about 10 changerooms since being elected two months ago.

“It’s becoming a bit of a habit but it’s something I’m absolutely loving about this job.”