Find out how a new multi-purpose pavilion is transforming hockey and connecting community.
We all love a sports story where talented teams and individuals shine.
What if success transcends trophies and includes places where communities can connect and thrive.
Is that possible?
Yes, says Greg Purser, Greensborough Hockey Club president.
Greg was born in the same year that his famous Dad, Ric Purser founded and ran the Greensborough Hockey Club from the family home. As club president for the past four years, Greg has successfully advocated for a new pavilion to service the needs of community and sports clubs using the two competition-grade synthetic hockey pitches.
Originally just two shipping containers, the Greensborough Hockey Club has been completely transformed into a state-of-the-art building for both the sporting and the wider community.
Creating an inclusive, accessible space was front of mind in developing the pavilion. It includes four unisex change rooms, an accessible change room and ramp, umpires’ facilities, updated public amenities and expanded kitchen facilities, plus extensive indoor and outdoor social space, meeting room, first aid and storage rooms.
Greg sees the impact that the new facilities are having on young people – they provide a welcoming environment for them and their families.
“There are 60 square metres of covered verandah on both sides of the clubrooms and inside, 150 square metres of social rooms, TVs, free wifi and tea and coffee,” he says.
“We’re trying to make it social for parents so they can sit inside, watch TV, work on their computer and have a cup of tea and coffee while their kids are training or playing.
“It’s a whole change of mindset from the past when you dropped your kids off and came back after training.”
As well as improving sports access, Greensborough Hockey Club is also sharing their multi-purpose pavilion with the wider community so that schools, small businesses and local groups can run events and meetings there during business hours.
At the same time, Greg has big plans to grow hockey in the outer north.
For starters, he wants the Club renamed Plenty Regional Hockey Centre to include other sporting clubs in the area.
With the Plenty growth corridor through Whittlesea and Wallan expecting 10,000 new homes in the next 5 to 10 years, Greg is working with School Sports Victoria and Hockey Victoria to establish new hockey clubs called South Morang, Laurimar and Diamond Creek and bring more local children to play hockey to the sporting precinct.
There are many benefits.
Growing the local competition means children won’t have to travel all over Melbourne for hockey matches, saving time and travel costs. There are also lower fees and overheads with a regional competition model so hockey is more affordable for families.
Another key focus is maximising the use of the sporting facilities - Greensborough Hockey Club will run programs year-round. They are hiring pitches to local football and cricket clubs during their off-season and hosting an inclusive soccer program on Saturdays for children with disabilities.
“It’s more sustainable and rate payers don’t have to pay more money to build more facilities if the current facility is being underutilised,” Greg says.
The Greensborough Hockey Pavilion Redevelopment has been delivered with $2.14 million from the Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund.
The total project value was $2.59 million, which includes a contribution of $361,000 from Nillumbik Shire Council and $90,000 from the Greensborough Hockey Club.
For more information about how the Victorian Government is supporting vital infrastructure projects in fast-growing areas in outer suburban and peri-urban Melbourne, visit Growing Suburbs Fund.