The Trafalgar Victory FC Committee have activated plans towards securing funding for a new Change room/toilet facility. Every player, official or supporter who has been at the Trafalgar Soccer Grounds since its opening in 2012 have made comment on two observations:
- The excellent playing surface
- The lack of change room facilities
The lack of change rooms is, and has been stated by past and present councillors, as “an absolute disgrace”. How a ground that services Trafalgar Victory FC (160 players, 40 of whom are female) and Gippsland FC (100 players, 25 of whom are female) exists without an operational change rooms is beyond comprehension. Every weekend of the season, players are travelling from as far as Melbourne, Sale and Bairnsdale only to make the long journey home wet and dirty at the end of a soccer match. This is not acceptable.
Such a lack of facilities is failing to meet the Rules of Competition as outlined by both the Latrobe Valley Soccer League and Football Federation Victoria. This is a basic requirement of all clubs to its players and opposition players. It has been 6 years since the grounds have opened and a solution to this issue is well overdue.
Trafalgar Victory FC have commenced initial conversations with the relevant government bodies and will be doing everything in its power to see this project come to fruition. From outside of the club it may appear to some that little work has been done by the club to address the current situation. Accordingly I wish to summarise the actions that have taken in recent times:
- 8 March 2017 – Lachlan Wyatt (TVFC President) initial conversation with Shane Paynter (BBSC Recreation Coordinator) regarding funding for a change room/shower facility.
- 20th April 2017 – Lachlan Wyatt & Dylan Wyatt (LVSL Board Member) met with the Latrobe Valley Authority to discuss funding. The LVA expressed interest in the project and believed it could be delivered in a timely fashion. However, this required BBSC to place this project upon a master plan.
- 27th April 2017 – TVFC held a meeting with East Ward Councillors, Garry Blackwood MP & Dylan Wyatt to raise the issue of change room facilities.
- 4th Dec 2017 – Soccer change room facilities raised and discussed at the Trafalgar recreation Precinct Committee of Management meeting.
- 6th Dec 2017 – Lachlan Wyatt added the change room facilities onto the BBSC online Ready Reckoner (BBSC’s Sport & Recreation data base).
- 19 Feb 2018 – Lachlan Wyatt & Mark Judd (TVFC Vice President) held a meeting with Cohen Van De Velde (BBSC Director of Community Assets) to discuss a range of concerns at the grounds, including the lack of changer room facilities.
- 27th February 2018 – Lachlan Wyatt , Mark Judd & Michael Byrne (TVFC Committee member) held a meeting met with Tony Flynn, team leader, worker transition services, at the LVA (Latrobe Valley Authority) to clarify requirements and processes to access LVA funding.
- 28th Feb – 2nd March 2018 – Mark Judd & Michael Byrne spoke with 8 of 9 BBSC councilors (1 councilor was on leave) regarding the proposed change room facilities. All of whom supported the proposal in principal.
- 1st March – Lachlan Wyatt, Mark Judd and Michael Byrne met with Cr. Danny Goss ( BBSC Deputy Mayor) at the Trafalgar Soccer Grounds to discuss the need for change room facilities.
- 2nd March – TVFC submitted a “Question on Notice” to BBSC, asking why there are no change rooms and shower facilities at the Trafalgar soccer grounds?
- 5th March – Lachlan Wyatt & Michael Byrne met with Cr. Jessica O’Donnell at the Trafalgar Soccer Grounds to discuss the need for change room facilities.
- 8th March – Moe United SC supply TVFC plans and costings of their recent facility project.
- 12th March 2018 – Mark Judd contacts FFV for support with building requirements and statistical comparisons between clubs in the Baw Baw region.
- 14th March – BBSC CEO Alison Leighton replied to Question on Notice at the most recent Council meeting held at in Trafalgar
Clearly the the TVFC Committee of management are actively pursuing funding for this project. In addition to the club’s strategical approach there has been considerable support within the local community. Local community members have written to both state and federal members to demand action on this project. Local media outlets WIN TV and Gippsland FM have both promoted and supported this cause. The LVSL and Gippsland FC have both initiated conversations with local political representatives to see this much need project put on the agenda with the local government.
From this point forward TVFC is looking to seek additional support from all levels of government in the region. It plans to make a budget submission for BBSC to consider before adopting the budget. Most importantly TVFC will endeavor to have this project identified as a BBSC priority and placed upon the shire’s Master Plan. If this could be achieved, then there is a much clearer pathway for local government, the LVA and TVFC to move forward to a successful and satisfactory outcome. There is considerable work to be done. However, with some vision and strong leadership at all levels of decision making, this essential project could be delivered in a timely manner.