THE upgrades to the Harrow and District Recreation Reserve were unveiled last week by West Wimmera Shire Mayor Bruce Meyer and Parliamentary Secretary for Sport Danielle Green.
The new facilities and upgrades are thanks to a $1 million investment from the State Government and $45,000 raised by the community.
"We are extremely thankful for the funding from all levels of government and AFL Victoria" Mayor for West Wimmera Shire Council, Bruce Meyer said.
"The community funding is always critical to making these types of projects possible and Harrow and district should be very proud of their achievement.
"It is very clear that football, netball and tennis are the lifeblood of the sporting community in Harrow and it is essential to provide them with amenities that are comfortable, well equipped and nearby to their grounds.
"These facilities will be a great area for spectators and team members to view games out of the weather and I am sure it will serve many other purposes for the community for years to come too."
President of the Harrow Balmoral Football Netball Club, Michael Phelan said he can't wait to get out and use the new facilities.
"We were really lucky to have Harrow and Balmoral reserves nearing completion at the same time. The buildings themselves really suit the environment. " he said.
"It's a big kick. We're really excited to start using them."
The Harrow Balmoral Football Netball Club will have two new facilities by the time they start training in late January.
"It's a mega complex at Balmoral. we won't know what to do with ourselves once we get back to it," Mr Phelan said.
"Although the facilities were old, it was typical of the area. it may be old but has it's own charm."
Some of the upgrades include new female friendly change rooms, office spaces, accessible public toilets with baby change facilities, first aid rooms, undercover viewing areas and additional space out of the weather for families on cold and wet days.
Home to the Harrow Balmoral Southern Roos Football Netball Club and the Harrow Tennis Club, the reserve was once considered to have the worst facilities in the Horsham District Football Netball League.
"I think from an opposition's point of room, the rooms were quite small and inhospitable," Mr Phelan said.
Updating the reserve has been an ongoing project for West Wimmera Council and community members with multiple stages of upgrades.
Mr Phelan said this was kick started off many years ago thanks to Tom Houlihan, who is the President of the Harrow and District Recreation Reserve.
"He's very passionate about that patch of dirt in Harrow," Mr Phelan said.
"It's been a long work in progress"
The club contributed to both builds in Balmoral and Harrow, along with AFL Victoria and the Harrow community.
"We helped raise funds for both projects," Mr Phelan said.
"It's ongoing because though this is completion of the main phase, there are subsequent phases to come."
Mr Phelan said the team at West Wimmera Shire Council "did an incredible job throughout the Harrow project."
The next phase will be stage two, which will be the redevelopment of the current football change rooms into storage and a gym.
Funds are still being sourced by the community to complete stage three which will include a resurfacing and lighting upgrade to the netball/tennis courts and a new playspace.
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