Anakie eager for Roo Den upgrade

July 25, 2022 BY

Netballers Jessica and Grace (left), club president Heath Menhennet (middle) and footballers Rohan and Alexander (right) have nothing but smiles in anticipation for the club's new pavilion. Photo: SUPPLIED

FIVE years on from the stage one foundations being laid, construction of stage two of the Anakie Football Netball Club’s new $2.2 million pavilion is close to getting under way.

When Anakie’s president Heath Menhennet took on the role in 2011, it was evident the need for an upgraded pavilion was right at the top of the club’s to-do list.

That need is on the brink of becoming a reality, following the City of Greater Geelong’s commitment to funding the final stage of the project as part of its 2022–23 budget.

“Over the past few years, we have come close to getting the means to upgrade the pavilion, but now the story seems to be in its final chapter,” Menhennet said.

“We’ve been finding it hard in the conditions that we have been dealing with and we haven’t had a major upgrade like this since 80’s.

“So, the reward will really go towards our volunteers, who come down and slave away doing their bit to help the club survive.”

Upon completion, the finished pavilion will include a large club and social room, a kitchen, gym, bar, cool room, unisex accessible amenities, a timekeepers’ space, and an administration office.

The single-storey venue will replace the current social rooms and will be built next to the standalone change rooms that were built in stage one.

Menhennet said the new and improved ‘Roo Den’ will reinvigorate its junior program, the “lifeline” of the Roos.

“The juniors are the blood of your club that keeps the heart pumping.

“Over the past few years, we’ve struggled to cater to our numbers that come through the door, and we want to attract as many as we can from our surrounding areas.

“To eventually have a facility of this standard is fantastic, and it’s a credit to the City of Greater Geelong who are financially backing us, particularly Kylie [Grzybek] and Anthony [Aitken].”

Barring any unexpected delays, the club is hopeful completion of the new pavilion will occur around the start of the 2023 football and netball season.