Plea for sports upgrades

Altona City during the 2019 season. (Damjan Janevski) 240681_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

Three soccer clubs made an impassioned plea for better facilities at last week’s Hobsons Bay council meeting to hear budget submissions.

Altona City Soccer Club requested funding for the design of its new facility at Kim Reserve in Altona.

Altona Magic and Altona East soccer clubs made a joint submission requesting funding for the Paisley Park Soccer Complex in Altona North.

Altona City’s Tania Oddi said the clubrooms at Kim Reserve were “falling apart, literally”.

“The roof is compromised and due to its construction being asbestos this is a risk to our members and the public,” she said.

“Tiles are falling off the walls.

“We don’t have the water pressure to run several showers at once.

“All other internal walls are rendered with large cracks in them – they are unhygienic as we are unable to wipe them down.

“Our bathrooms, change rooms and First Aid rooms are not up to today’s standards.

“We don’t have enough change rooms for everyone.

“The First Aid room does not fit a stretcher inside and causes issues with emergency service[s] when attending.

“The change facilities and referee rooms can only cater for single sex at one time.

“Floors throughout are uneven and we have trip hazards everywhere.

“We have water leaks, drainage issues and our power supply is not adequate.”

Oddi said the facilities were not DDA [Disability Discrimination Act] compliant.

“Our disabled toilets are not up to standard,” she said.

“We have no access for the disabled, with no ramps for wheelchairs, and the limited pathways leading to the clubrooms are all cracked and inaccessible.

“I literally watch incident after incident occur every week.

“I get weekly complaints about the facilities.”

She said the carpark “just did not exist” with no dedicated parking or pedestrian crossings, and there was no public lighting.

“Our female players and members are in constant fear having to access their vehicles in the pitch black after training or games, especially after a recent vehicle break-in at training,” Oddi said.

“We are not looking for the Taj Mahal; we do need adequate facilities so that we continue to provide for all members of the community in a safe manner.”

Altona Magic Soccer Club’s Adam Longshaw and Altona East Soccer Club’s Lauren Harries made a joint submission, saying their facility at Paisley Park was “a hazard with no car parking, internal lighting or disabled access”.

“We are fearful that it may take a car accident, a child being injured or a female being assaulted for action to occur,” Longshaw said.

“Ultimately, we think a proactive approach should be adopted and what we are seeking from council tonight is to reconsider the rejection of this proposal – not to complete works in 2021 but put in place a plan and a proper timeline to enable an upgrade what is considerably dangerous today to be address for our community.”