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Benefits of new practice nets hit home for softball clubs

Benefits of new practice nets hit home for softball clubs

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

A $300,000 upgrade to the softball practice nets at the Mill Park Recreation Reserve is a home run for players intent on improving their skills. 

City of Whittlesea CEO Craig Lloyd joined the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, Member for Mill Park, as she threw the ceremonial first pitch to officially open the new nets on Wednesday, 20 December. 

Council consulted closely with the Northern District Softball Association (NDSA) to ensure the new facility would cater to member clubs’ needs for years to come. 

The result was the installation of three practice lanes – two to be used exclusively by the member clubs and one available for use by schools and the general public. 

Two of the lanes are enclosed to ensure that training can proceed even in wet weather, which was previously not possible, and new lighting means sessions can go into the evening. 

Mr Lloyd said Council had contributed $120,000 to the project, with $180,000 coming from the Victorian Government’s Local Sports Infrastructure Fund. 

“This redevelopment will give the Northern District Softball Association and its member clubs the confidence to promote the sport and attract new participants knowing that they now have the facilities to cater for them,” he said. 

“The City of Whittlesea is committed to helping residents lead active, healthy lifestyles and providing fit-for-purpose community sporting facilities is a key part of that.”  

NDSA president Chaminda Fernando said the redevelopment would undoubtedly help the three member clubs – the Cheetahs, Rebels and Monarchs – with recruitment. 

"Before we had no shelter or lighting so kids would turn up and if it was raining, we’d have to cancel,” he said. 

“But now we can run batting sessions and fielding sessions because we’ve got a roof and lights and that’s going to make a huge difference.”