Women win big at Parkville’s expanded netball and hockey centre

Women win big at Parkville’s expanded netball and hockey centre
Katie Johnson

The brand-new Melbourne Sports Centre Parkville was opened this month, boasting $64.6 million worth of new facilities to support women’s sports.

The centre includes six new indoor netball courts, a new indoor hockey pitch, hot and cold recovery pools, a creche for parents playing at the centre, and a high-performance strength and conditioning gym.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula opened the facility on July 14 and said the centre was an investment in Victorian women.

“This reimagined centre will benefit thousands of women and girls who come to Parkville each week to compete and hone their skills in the games they love,” Mr Pakula said.


This was an ambitious project and it’s going to pay big dividends for players, clubs and supporters for many years.


The new sports mecca formally known as the State Netball and Hockey Centre will host 500,000 players and spectators each year, with 80 per cent of all participants being women and girls.

Sixty-four lineal kilometres of timber sports flooring have been laid and the netball arm of the centre now has 11 indoor courts.

The expanded centre will also allow for more use by volleyball, basketball, futsal, badminton and table tennis players and will be home to the Women in Sport Leadership Centre.

Netball Victoria chief executive Rosie King said that with Netball Victoria, Super Netball’s Melbourne Vixens, Hockey Victoria and dozens of grassroots hockey and netball teams based at the centre, the new facilities would open the venue for more community participation.

“We are thrilled to open a new chapter of the sport in Victoria – we thank the Victorian Government for their investment in women’s sport,” Ms King said.

Under Development Victoria’s new initiative to encourage more women into construction, half of the redevelopment team was female.

Hockey Victoria chief executive Andrew Skillern said the new site would help to put Australian sportswomen on the world stage.

“The new high-performance facilities provide an opportunity for women and girls all around Victoria to develop, thrive and contribute to our global standings in world hockey,” Mr Skillern said.

Work has also begun on the $2.6 million redevelopment of the Western Pavilion in Royal Park. The new pavilion will include a social room and kitchen, four gender neutral change facilities, two umpire rooms and roughly 350 square metres of space will be returned to parkland once the existing pavilion is demolished.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said that the city’s sporting grounds were in high-demand with 375 community teams which would benefit from the upgraded facility.

“This project will create an estimated 18 jobs over the life of the project and deliver better facilities for female athletes using the Pavilion,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We want to encourage more women’s sport across the municipality and to do that we need invest in upgrading our facilities to make them more inclusive for everyone to use.


Importantly, these projects create jobs now when we need them most but also help to build a better community for years to come.


The Lord Mayor also said that now was the best time to keep the community healthy though sport.

“We know local sport has taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic and we want to ensure it returns better and stronger than ever,” the Lord Mayor said.

The Pavilion is expected to be completed in April 2022 •

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