I write to you as the President of the St Kevin’s Old Boys Football Club (SKOB) in regard to the proposed new indoor multipurpose sports and recreation facility Percy Treyvaud Park, Malvern East.
As the person responsible for creating our now thriving women’s football section at SKOB a few years ago – I write with a particular perspective on women in sport.
I also write as a father of a daughter who has played netball at the Stonnington netball facility in Prahran (next to Orrong Park).
We as a club, and I personally endorse the proposed development. Without decent facilities we will never encourage greater participation in sport by women.
If anyone ever doubted the positive impact of sport in young people’s lives – I challenge them to come to TH King Pavilion on a Thursday night during football season to witness the benefits. Last Thursday we fed around 250 players as we had our final training session before the season commenced. The joy and gratitude displayed – particularly by the 50 young women who attended the evening was tremendous. With the great facility at TH King or the creation of the teams for the women to play in – none of this would occur. The inclusion of women in a club environment is great for them and for the men at our club. The sense of community we have nourished is extraordinary. Without places to gather and participate in sport – community (and a sense of inclusion) can be diminished.
Further – I know that the existing Prahran netball facility is sub optimal. My memory of one of the courts is that it was not of regulation size in some aspects. This sends a terrible message to young women. The message that their sport is somehow so irrelevant that the facility can be cramped and possibly undersized is a poor one. Equality of opportunity in sport starts with equality of facilities.
In an age of social media sometimes confusing young people’s self image – competitive team sport has arguably never been more important. Greater physical wellbeing is inextricably linked to better mental health. Facilities are vital to all this.
So, please accept this message as an endorsement of the proposal.
Further background information:
To address the lack of available indoor sport and recreation facilities within the City of Stonnington, the Council resolved, some months ago, to build a new indoor multipurpose highball sport and recreation facility at the Percy Treyvaud Memorial Park, Malvern East.
Last week, Council deferred making a decision on investing just over $40m on sporting facilities, which would include new bowling greens; 7 outdoor courts; 2 refurbished cricket fields; at least 2 lacrosse fields and 4 new indoor highball courts for basketball, netball etc.
This is a major development for Stonnington and will greatly increase opportunities for all age groups, to have access to a variety of sports, which will improve the mental, physical and social wellbeing of the community. However, Council could also choose to abandon this project and not cater for the need to build indoor sports courts and provide facilities for our young members of our community, especially girls, who only have 1 compliant indoor sports court.
Time is of the essence as the decision to approve this master plan will occur at the Meeting of Council on Monday 6 May.
The draft masterplan can be viewed at www.connectstonnington.vic.gov.au/stadium.
The project has been supported by the following Sporting Associations:
• Associated Catholic Colleges
• Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria
• Associated Public Schools of Victoria
• Australian Futsal Association
• Australian Olympic Committee
• Badminton Australia
• Badminton Victoria
• Basketball Victoria
• Bowls Victoria
• Cricket Australia
• Cricket Victoria
• Girls Sport Victoria
• Hawthorn Basketball Association
• Lacrosse Victoria
• Netball Victoria
• Table Tennis Victoria
• Tennis Australia
• Tennis Victoria
• Volleyball Australia
• Volleyball Victoria
Please reach out to the Councillors in the attached document if you would like to voice your support: