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Conceptual drawings have been finalised for new female-friendly changerooms at Sale Main Oval.

Both the changerooms under the grandstand and under the ‘Sporties’ clubrooms will be upgraded by the next football-netball season.

There will also be a new unisex toilet block on the Past Player’s Hill with improvements to cater for mobility issues; and a new multi-purpose training court to support Sale Football Netball Club’s six netball teams.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester announced $880,000 in Federal Government support for the project. Wellington Shire Council is providing $525,000 and the John Leslie Foundation $250,000.

Mr Chester said Wellington Shire Council had been working closely with Sale Football Netball Club (SFNC) and Sale Cricket Club to finalise designs that would support a range of sports at the main oval in Sale.

“Sale Football Netball Club plays in the Gippsland League at the highest level this side of Melbourne, yet it’s been without suitable netball changerooms and toilets since netball began back in 1996,” Mr Chester said.

“Likewise, the changerooms under the grandstand, which are mostly used for cricket and football, have not improved much since I played as a junior 35 years ago.

“During that time, public expectations have changed and we have more females playing at the club than ever before so this upgrade is well overdue. I hope the new female-friendly facilities will encourage more females to play and volunteer.”

Sale FNC President Simon Turnbull said the project would create valuable space for players.

“There are six netball teams all trying to train on one court every Thursday so I know the netballers are very excited about finally getting a second training court,” Mr Turnbull said.

“I’m pleased the Federal Government, with support from Wellington Shire and the John Leslie Foundation, has been able to provide these much-needed funds to improve facilities at Sale’s main oval.

“Improved facilities will help us attract and retain more players and also to better promote our region when we host major events in the area and visiting teams from outside of our region.”

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