The NSW Government and the Bathurst Bulldogs Rugby Club and have recognised the importance of women in sport with the announcement of a designated women’s rugby facility at Ashwood Park.
Funding of $407,133 from the Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF), backed by another $100,000 from the Bulldogs, will pave the way for the new additions to their home ground on Hereford Street.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole met with members of the Bathurst Rugby Club today to make the announcement.
He said the construction of facilities to cater for the ever increasing number of women turning out for the Bulldogs was a great initiative.
“This designated women's rugby facility will incorporate two change rooms, each with toilets and showers, external female and disabled toilets and meeting room,” Mr Toole said.
“The new facility will be an extension of the existing clubhouse and will be enlarged under the same roof profile, ensuring that although it is separate, is still part of the larger facility and not out of place on that site.
“Whilst the facility will be primarily for the use of women due to the nature of the competition draws where men’s and women’s teams play on the same day, the new additions can also be used in hosting major regional sporting events.”
Mr Toole said female sporting teams are amongst the big winners under the latest wave of projects rolling out by the NSW Government to deliver new and upgraded facilities, infrastructure and programs that make a big difference to everyday life in the bush.
“Some 435 projects across every single one of the State’s 93 regional Local Government Areas (LGAs) would receive funding under SCCF Round Four,” he said.
“The Stronger Country Communities Fund delivers guaranteed investment in every single regional LGA in NSW, and has seen $500 million invested across more than 1900 local projects since 2017.
“About half of this latest $100 million round will deliver 189 female sporting projects, including the construction or upgrade of female change rooms, additional amenity blocks and bathrooms, and playing surfaces like netball and tennis courts.
“It will also deliver hundreds of projects that make everyday life for families in the regions easier, like new playgrounds, clubhouses, art gallery renovations, streetscape, accessibility, lighting upgrades and community programs.”
Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor said the female sporting amenities projects backed by Round Four would make it easier for women and girls to be a part of their local sports team.
“Better facilities and support programs that encourage greater female participation at all levels and sporting codes will go a long way to levelling the playing field for women,” Mrs Taylor said.
“Some of Australia’s elite female athletes started their career in regional NSW and we want to give the next generation every opportunity to discover, develop and hone their skills and prowess.
“Female amenities mean players have somewhere to change before and after training or on game day, instead of having to call in at home after work or getting dressed in a parked car.”
Mr Toole noted that in 2019 the Bulldogs received a NSW Government SCCF grant of $145,900 for improvements at Ashwood Park.
These included installing new floodlights, new scoreboard and associated infrastructure with a view to the Bulldogs being able to play night matches.