Battling for basic amenities: Kyneton netball players push for new changerooms

Battling for basic amenities: Kyneton netball players push for new changerooms

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Kyneton netball players getting changed in "sheep pavilion"

The 2024 football and netball season is only weeks away yet a netball team in rural Victoria are again without clean and hygienic changerooms for the season.

"Our changerooms are a sheep pavilion and they are infested with rats, mice and mould. They don't have sanitary bins, there's no hot water to wash our hands, there's no showers. It's appearing like this is okay and we're just expected to use those facilities. That makes me really, really angry," says Kyneton Football Netball Club director Loryn Savoia.

Loryn has been with the club for almost 15 years, and said it’s deeply disappointing to walk into the changerooms year on year without any improvements.

"I'm nearly 30 and I started playing at the club when I was 16 and it's definitely not changed within that time. To have to go into those sheds and be surrounded by the filth in there is, look, it's deeply disappointing. It makes me pretty angry and fired up."

New changerooms have been promised by government since 2022 but an objection lodged to parts of the plan has put progress on pause.

"We've got funding and that funding was announced in 2022. And at this point, the upgrade is still in a planning phase, which is absolutely fine. Full credit to the planning teams, council and Netball Victoria for going through those plans and doing what they need to do. But there was, however, a complaint lodged regarding the removal of some trees. And that has definitely delayed the process as far as we're aware," says Loryn.

Netball is the number one female team sport in Australia with more than one million people involved in the sport. However that isn’t making it any easier for Kyneton to recruit new players to the club.

"feel like the impact is quite huge and really complex. Other clubs dread coming to Kyneton due to the lack of facilities. 

"Females playing sport, it's a tough slog as it is in terms of numbers and participation. And that's what we're all about - championing that and trying to get girls and women to participate. This is a huge barrier to that.

"I don't like walking in (the changerooms). I can't imagine being a brand new player to the area and walking in and seeing that.

Kyneton netball players "begging" for temporary changerooms

This week in parliament Wendy Lovell, Liberal Member for Northern Victoria, called on the government to provide funding for temporary female changerooms for netballers at Kyneton Football Netball Club.

Loryn says they’ve been "begging" the council to provide temporary changerooms only to be told no.

"We are begging the council to provide some form of temporary changerooms for us until the upgrades can be completed.

"We have asked this of the council a number of times before and the answer has always been no. We don't think this is good enough."

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