SMJFL community to benefit from $13 million Moorabbin Stage Two re-development
South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) community partner the St Kilda Football Club have announced they have secured $13 million funding for the second stage of its re-development of Moorabbin Reserve, now known as RSEA Park.
The funding was confirmed by the State Government as part of its 2018 budget, which includes investment in re-developing a host of elite and grassroots sporting venues across the state.
Championed by Bentleigh MP Nick Staikos, Stage Two will include AFL-standard, female-specific change rooms, a grandstand, a second indoor sports court and aquatic facilities, including lap pool and hydrotherapy pool, a whole facility that the SMJFL community will have access to.
The venue will also be fit to host AFL Women’s matches from 2020, when the Southern Saints are set to enter the competition.
SMJFL CEO Sarah Loh heralded the State Government for working together with both the community and elite levels of football.
“This investment will create a unique sporting facility whereby both the community and elite levels of football will work alongside each other,” she said.
“Such a model will benefit the south-east football community immensely, strengthening the ties between all tiers of football and creating clear pathway opportunities for all.
“Together with St Kilda, the league is already working better together with the Next Generation Academy and Interleague program, as well as other community-based initiatives. Further re-development to RSEA Park will only strengthen these ties and make available more resources for our community.
“We thank the State Government and MP Nick Staikos for their ongoing support of football and sport in the region.”
St Kilda CEO Matt Finnis hailed the project as a win for the south-eastern football community.
“This funding will provide an opportunity to open up RSEA Park to the local community beyond what Stage 1 will achieve, through the additions of a hydrotherapy pool and second indoor netball/basketball court,’’ he said.
“It will also allow us greater capacity to engage local schools and groups with our award-winning community programs.
“Importantly it also provides St Kilda with extra indoor training spaces, elite rehab facilities and the opportunity for a St Kilda side to once again run out on the hallowed turf at Moorabbin.
“A St Kilda AFLW side will change our club forever when it is introduced in 2020 and it’s incredibly pleasing to know they will have access to change and training facilities that are equal to the men’s team, and that St Kilda fans can gather at our spiritual home once again to watch the Saints take the field.’
“With the Sandringham Dragons, SMJFL and Southern Football League already set to call RSEA Park home once Stage 1 is completed in November, this funding commitment will enable this iconic venue to become the centrepiece for women’s football in south-east and bayside Melbourne.”
Imagery – Courtesy St Kilda Football Club