A re-elected Rudd Government will contribute $200,000 towards a new synthetic pitch to enable La Trobe University Hockey Club to return “home” to Bundoora.
Minister for Sport, Senator Don Farrell, said the funding would also help create a ‘sports hub’ for the northern community, including Reservoir, Preston, Kingsbury, Thornbury and Northcote.
Senator Farrell said Labor Candidate for Batman David Feeney had lobbied hard to secure the $200,000 funding to help the Club return to the university’s Bundoora campus – after re-locating to K.P. Hardiman Reserve in Kingsbury 18 years ago.
“Thanks to David, a re-elected Rudd Government will support the future of LTUHC which is the biggest competitive sports club at La Trobe University,” he said.
Speaking at La Trobe University, David Feeney said federal funding would help construct a new synthetic oval at the Bundoora Campus, as part of the Club’s $2.5 million plan to build two floodlit synthetic turfs, new change rooms and new fencing.
Mr Feeney said the Club moved to Hardiman Reserve, two kilometres from the Bundoora campus, in 1995 when it became imperative for hockey to be played on synthetic turf and not grass.
“The Club is thriving but their current facilities at the reserve are dilapidated and dangerous with rundown change rooms 200 metres away from the ground and across a non-lit car park,” he said.
“There are no separate change rooms for men and women and the current change rooms are run down”
“It’s time for the Club to return home and a re-elected Rudd Government is happy to help facilitate this move.”
LTUHC has over 300 members ranging in age from 5 to 65 and 15 teams in the Victorian Hockey Association. Club President Zac Martin thanked Mr Feeney for his support and for taking the time to visit their current facilities.
Mr Martin said improving the quality of facilities and player safety were principal reasons for moving to Bundoora as well as being visible on campus. “We are a tram ride away on a dark winter evening from the campus and this is not only unsafe, it hurts our ability to take on new students,” he said.
“We’re seen as an off-campus club but our base is the students and alumni so it makes so much sense for us to be back on campus.
“Seeing students running around with hockey sticks will build our profile within the university.”
This commitment would be delivered through the Government’s Sporting Communities Initiative that is already included in the budget.