FEMALE footballers will now be able to get ready for games in comfort at the spiritual home of AFL in Hobart, with the completion of a suite of new female-friendly changerooms.
With the help of a Levelling the Playing Field grant, delivered through the Tasmanian Government, the five changerooms at the North Hobart Oval have undergone major upgrades to include unisex amenities.
AFL Tasmania communications and partnership manager Damian Gill said the project would accommodate the rapid growth of women’s football and make the ground more compliant for elite female competition.
“North Hobart Oval is a ground a lot of people have sentimental ties to, so it’s good to see it now being at a top standard not just for males, but also females,” he said.
“Four or so years ago there was only six senior women’s teams within Tasmania.
“Since then there’s been an explosion, with there being more than 100 dedicated female teams across the state.
“This has come with the challenge of updating our facilities to accommodate for the new participation, and in that respect, it’s about updating the facilities to ensure that all newcomers to the game are in a welcome and friendly environment.”
Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said the upgrades made to the ground would help further boost female participation in the sport, as well as retain those already playing.
“There has been a significant increase in female participation in AFL since the beginning of the AFLW competitions,” she said.
“North Hobart Oval hosted an AFLW match earlier this year and we received excellent feedback about the venue.
“Thanks to the outstanding work by our builders, the first two changerooms were finished in time for the game.
“With the full suite of new changerooms now completed, we expect the oval to be even more attractive for future games and we hope it will encourage more girls and women to take up the sport.”
The project involved updating the existing infrastructure to create new toilet and changing facilities in the Plaister, Gorringe and George Millers stands.
The $500,000 project was jointly funded by the Tasmanian Government through its Levelling the Playing Field grant stream ($250,000 contribution), City of Hobart ($175,000) and the AFL ($75,000).
It is the first project that has been completed as part of the Levelling the Playing Field program, with more set to be rolled out across the state to make sure all participants have the amenities and facilities they require.
Caption: From left, Alderman Jeff Briscoe, Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds, AFL Tasmania communications and partnership manager Damian Gill, Councillor Bill Harvey, Liberal Member for Prosser Jane Howlett and Deputy Lord Mayor Helen Burnett in the new female-friendly changerooms at North Hobart Oval.