The Troy Park Sporting Association is pushing for financial support from the Melville City Council and State Government to get its club room facilities and parking area upgraded.
Troy Park is a sporting precinct along the Swan River in Attadale and is the home ground for Attadale Football Club, Bicton Junior Cricket Club and Attadale Netball Club.
The proposed expansion includes toilets and change room facilities for female players and spectators, new playing fields and netball courts, more parking bays and greater storage space.
TPSA president Greg Peters has been pushing for the improvements since he joined the association three years ago. He said expanding the clubrooms “would provide a massive change in safety and support” for players and their families.
Mr Peters has contacted the City of Melville and State Government in an attempt to raise awareness of the situation and gain funding. Despite the efforts of each individual club to raise money for the expansion, support from the local government has been limited.
Since the park’s opening in 1975, there’s been little-to-no development of its playing areas or clubrooms. The most recent upgrades were completed in February of 1980, and were funded by food drives, donations and interest-free loans.
Mr Peters said when it comes to genuine commitment and support from the council, they’re just not getting it.
“The council comes back and says, ‘look it’s part of our 20-year plan’, but we haven’t got 20 years to wait. We need solutions now.”
Mr Peters said the need for female toilets and changing facilities was a major priority, as he believed the girls were missing out.
“If I walked up to the government right now to talk about this, I would say that it’s absolutely ridiculous that the girls are less privileged at a club that’s supposed to be for boys and girls. It should be equal, and it should be fair.”Sophia Craig
Footy and netball player Sophia Craig (12) said she often felt ‘uncomfortable’ and even ‘scared’ to use the change rooms at Troy Park. As the only girl on her football team, she’s had problems sharing with her male teammates.
“We all got to footy really early one time … so I go in and I was getting myself dressed … and then a couple of boys walk in and I just screamed.”
Sophia said she believes the lack of dedicated changerooms is stopping potential players from joining the club.
“I’ve had some friends that would like to play, but then there’s no girls’ toilets. It’s strange for them, because every other club they’ve been to, there’s been change rooms.”
With the growing interest in women’s and girls’ sport, Sophia believes all sporting clubs should have appropriate facilities for male and female players. She believes she shouldn’t have to fight for something as fundamental as a safe space to change.
“If I walked up to the government right now to talk about this, I would say that it’s absolutely ridiculous that the girls are less privileged at a club that’s supposed to be for boys and girls. It should be equal, and it should be fair.”
The TPSA’s petition calling for funding can be accessed here: http://www.change.org/troyparkneedsyou.