Netball is the most popular female team sport across Australia and participation in Bayside has doubled since 2010. Nearly 2,700 registered players from 14 clubs play on Bayside’s seven courts – six outdoor and one indoor.
The seven netball courts are used every weeknight for training and all day Saturday for games. The courts are also used for interschool games during weekdays and training on Sundays.
Almost 200 players sit out each week due to byes as a result of inadequate court space. Bayside games are 20% shorter than the national standard to maximise all games on the fixture and the netball association caps team numbers and restricts membership to Bayside residents only.
A 2014 needs assessment identified future demand would require 12 outdoor courts with night match floodlighting and two indoor courts. In 2019, player numbers have already exceeded those projected for 2024, so it is essential that new netball facilities are prioritised to provide adequate access to the sport for the local community.
Bayside City Council is seeking federal and state funding towards the $9 million required for new netball facilities.
Funding commitments to date
Council welcomes the announcement of $4.7 million budgeted funding commitment by the Australian Government.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Member for Goldstein Tim Wilson, MP on Thursday 14 March 2019.
Council has identified a preferred site for the new netball courts in Wangara Road, Sandringham and set aside $11.3 million in its long-term financial plan to construct 12 new outdoor netball courts and amenity facilities by 2020; and $400,000 in its 2018/19 budget to complete detailed design and costing.
Funding contributions from other levels of government are required to meet the remaining $9 million to fund the two indoor courts.
The new facilities will not only meet the current and future needs of netball locally but also enable the netball association to expand its programs. This includes developing the fledgling all-abilities program for players with a disability, participation opportunities for boys and men, and will help to service other sports as well as local schools.