THE Churchill community and sponsors have gotten behind the local football-netball club’s fundraising effort to bring a second netball court to Gaskin Park.

After many years of planning, approvals, and fundraising, teams will no longer have to warm up on the road.

Construction on Churchill Football Netball Club’s second court is now well underway.

The concrete slab, laid by Nezink, was made possible by a generous $10,000 donation from major club sponsors Hip Pocket and Cool Aqua Springs.

“It’s fantastic to have the slab down. It’s taken a long time and a lot of work, and contributions like this go a long way toward making that happen,” Churchill FNC President, Mark Answerth said.

“There’s still a fair bit of work to do, but this is a really good start.”

The total cost of the second court will exceed $80,000, with the local club raising the majority of the money through fundraising efforts.

Finally: A second court at Gaskin Park has been decades in the making. Photograph supplied

“It’s proven that kids who are involved in sports are a lot less likely to get involved in things that are a bit untoward. We’ve now got five junior sides … and they’re all going to be able to train here alongside our seniors, so this makes a big difference,” Answerth said.

“They can all train on the same night and come up for a meal, and that’s one of the big reasons we wanted a second court.”

It is well known that Churchill’s lack of a second netball court has prevented the club from hosting a North Gippsland Football-Netball League Grand Final, but with these latest upgrades, the club will no doubt have a better chance to host the biggest game of the year.

“Whether we like it or not, traditionally, football has been the main focus, even with football and netball clubs. One of the things we’re trying to do as a club is to get both sports on an even playing field,” Answerth said.

“Netballers especially in our club have been so generous in giving up their time and putting their hand up, our treasurer is a netballer, our secretary is a netballer, and half our committee is netballers, so we have shown we will support the netballers and they’ll support us and that’s just part of building a strong club.”

Latrobe City Council has come on board to assist the club.

Council contributed $5000 towards the concrete construction of the Churchill netball court. Council is also covering the cost of the concrete slab to be covered in acrylic and line marked which has cost $25,000, equalling a total council contribution of $30,000 to the netball court.

Hip Pocket and Cool Aqua Springs were thrilled to announce its continued partnership with the Churchill FNC, with a donation of $10,000 towards the construction of a state-of-the-art netball court.

As a major sponsor of the club for more than three years, Hip Pocket and Cool Aqua Springs said they have witnessed first-hand the club’s unwavering dedication to fostering community spirit and promoting active lifestyles. This commitment has solidified Hip Pocket and Cool Aqua Springs ‘ decision to support the club’s latest endeavour to enhance its facilities.

“Churchill Football-Netball Club is more than just a sports club; it’s a hub for community engagement and personal development,” said Hip Pocket and Cool Aqua Springs Managing Director, Alfi Prestipino.

“We are honoured to continue our partnership with such an outstanding organisation and to contribute to the creation of a new netball court that will benefit players and spectators alike.”

The $10,000 donation from Hip Pocket and Cool Aqua Springs will go directly towards the construction of the new netball court, ensuring that members of the Churchill FNC and the wider community have access to modern, high-quality facilities for years to come.

The acrylic surface won’t be laid until the end of the month, but with the concrete now dry, all netball teams will finally have a place to warm-up.