A nine-year campaign to upgrade Goroke Recreation Reserve has yielded fruit, to the delight of local user groups.
The ground will soon boast new pavillion and changerooms, following a funding announcement by the federal government on Thursday.
Western Victorian state government MP Jaala Pulford announced it would receive $1.755 million under the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program.
"The upgrade will include the construction of a new pavillion and changerooms," she said in a statement.
"The scope includes four home and away player change rooms for Netball/Tennis and Football, umpire changerooms, gym, public toilets, social room and kitchen."
Ms Pulford thanked the West Wimmera Shire Council and Goroke and District Multi-Sports Precinct Committee of Management for the commitment.
Goroke Recreation Reserve secretary and treasurer Louise Gabbe said user group had been calling for upgrades at the facility for nine years.
"We've been fundraising since then to get a new facility. The current one has been there since 1988," she said.
"We do sheep drives, a cropping program, auctions... just anything to raise a bit of money. It's pretty exciting, I'm in a little bit of shock actually."
Mrs Gabbe, who works at the council, said the reserve was "the laughing stock" of the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League.
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"At the moment, if it's in winter, you just stand in the cold before you go home (instead of meeting inside) because our current facility isn't a nice place ot hang around in.
"The men's home and away facilities share and open shower with two shower heads, a urinal and two toilets. The female facilities have three toilets and two showers and a very small change area within the same room. These amenities also have to be shared with spectators, volunteers, umpires, young families and the elderly.
"We also have bowling tournaments, shows and horse riding there," she said. "We have missed out over many years. People think we're sucha small town and why do we need it? But we are a very proactive community very proud of our town, and this is going to be a huge drawcard for other events we could possibly hold. For our eonomy in the West Wimmera, it's going to be huge really."
Mrs Gabbe said with the current South Australian border closure, junior players in the west Wimmera could not play in the cross border league that is taking place during the coronavirus pandemic.
"This is going to be something for them to look forward to next year," she said. "We've had tennis and netball courts fixed up and we got some lights through Pick my Project, so it's going to be a fantastic facility.
"We have been putting our heart and soul into it for a long time. This funding came up and we just went hard for it."
Mrs Gabbe said the reserve committee had plans to introduce new initiatives including mixed social netball including Net-Set-Go programs, competition and social tennis including the "hot shots" tennis programs.
Border Districts Football Netball Club president Linda Skinner welcomed the announcement. She said the upgrades would "be a huge boost for the town".
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