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New accessible changerooms constructed at Barooga Recreation Reserve

03 Jul 2024

Females will be able to play sport in better safety, comfort and convenience after the construction of two new accessible and family-friendly female changerooms on Crown land in the NSW Murray town of Barooga.

The project at Barooga Recreational Reserve was funded via a $394,000 partnership between the NSW Government and Berrigan Shire Council.

The new changerooms have been built into the existing clubhouse near the reserve’s cricket, netball, and basketball courts, and will be enormously beneficial for girls and women of all ages to play sport in a safe and inclusive environment.

The project includes construction of four new showers, four toilets and an accessible bathroom. A parent-friendly changeroom will also be built, reducing barriers for mums who wish to participate in sport.

The upgraded facilities will replace the old changerooms, which were dilapidated and located on the opposite side of Barooga Recreational Reserve, forcing players to walk the length of the oval to access netball, tennis, cricket and football facilities.

More storage space will also be built into the existing clubhouse, ensuring local sporting clubs can cater to current and future demand as more women and girls in the area participate in sport.

The NSW Office of Sport allocated $154,000 towards the project through its ‘Female Friendly Community Sport Facilities and Lighting Upgrades’ program and Berrigan Shire Council contributed $240,000 towards the project. Crown Lands approved the project at its early stage following the lodging of a landowner’s consent application in February 2023.

Barooga Football Netball Club Executive Director Gabrielle Florance said the new changerooms are a gamechanger for women.

“These new facilities will encourage more women to play sport. The convenience of having our changerooms close to all the sporting equipment will make it easier and safer for our players to access all the amazing facilities here at Barooga Recreational Reserve,” Ms Florance said.

“The parent-friendly changeroom is also really important, especially since we have a lot of mums who love to keep being active as they get a bit older.”

Berrigan Shire Council Director Corporate Services Tahlia Fry said the need for new changerooms underscores the growing popularity of women’s sport in the region.

“Barooga Reserve is a sporting hub for the Murray region, so it’s important our facilities reflect this growing demand,” Ms Fry said.

“These new changerooms demonstrate our commitment to encouraging more women and girls to get out there and reap all the social, physical and emotional benefits of playing sport.”

Member for Murray Helen Dalton said it’s important women and girls in the Murray region have access to quality sporting facilities.

“Women’s sport is booming here in the Murray region, so it’s really important women and girls have access to high quality sporting infrastructure,” Ms Dalton said.

“These facilities at Barooga Recreational Reserve make it much more convenient for women and girls to train and play sport in a safe environment and welcoming environment.”

Minister for Lands and Property and Sport Steve Kamper said this initiative will help women and girls feel empowered to participate in community sport.

“This important infrastructure upgrade on a Crown reserve has been facilitated by approvals from Crown Lands and joint funding from the Office of Sport and Berrigan Shire Council to help boost female participation in sport,” Minister Kamper said.

“The NSW Government continues to be a passionate advocate for women’s sport and will continue to invest and promote programs that ensure sport across this country continues to thrive.”