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Tenders have closed to undertake the detailed design for the $1.63 million upgrade of facilities at the Sale Main Oval.

The improvements include upgrading the changerooms to better cater for female footballers, cricketers, netballers and officials.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester last year secured $880,000 from the Federal Government for the project. Wellington Shire is contributing $525,000 to the project and the John Leslie Foundation, $225,000.

“The many people who use these facilities year-round will know that facilities at the Sale Football Netball Club are dated and don’t meet the standards that players and visitors expect,” Mr Chester said.

“That’s particularly true for female players and officials.”

The Federal Government funding will go towards upgrading the existing changerooms underneath the grandstand and overhaul change facilities at the netball precinct.

Wellington Shire Council called for contractors to tender for the design and specification work for a new netball half court, enhanced spectator areas and reconfigured entry, as well as the new change facilities.

Mayor Alan Hall said tenders have now closed.

“Wellington Shire Council is pleased to be able to partner with the Federal Government and the John Leslie Foundation to improve facilities for all participants at the Sale oval whether they be playing netball, cricket, football, officiating or volunteering,” Cr Hall said.

“These improvements will ensure Sale has state-of-the-art, family-friendly facilities.”

Sale Football Netball Club President Simon Turnbull said the upgrade project was significant for the club.

“Our club is Sale’s team in the Gippsland League and we give our talented footballers and netballers a pathway to realise their playing potential,” Mr Turnbull said. “To help do that, we need to provide facilities that will encourage them to keep playing.”

“We also want the redevelopment project to make our ground an attractive venue to host league finals and major sports events to bring people into our region.”

Mr Chester said the Federal Government’s funding was part of its additional spending on community sports infrastructure, which includes around $150 million investment in female change rooms, facility upgrades and swimming pools across the country.

“Encouraging Gippslanders to get more active, more often is a passion of mine,” Mr Chester said.

“I believe investing in better sporting facilities encourages people to get involved in local sport and improves the liveability of our local communities.”

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