Fitzroy Stars are much more than a sports club. Beyond the sports of football and netball, they are a community hub that provides the glue for community wellbeing. Their members feel a real sense of belonging which equals a strong, healthy, and prosperous Aboriginal community.
A large crowd attended with Elders, Dignitaries, Politicians, CEOs, Builders and Contractors, and community gathered with some of the players from the Fitzroy Stars Women’s team to celebrate the “Laying of the Foundation” that took place today at the home of Indigenous Football, the “Pastor Sir Doug Nicholls Oval” for the new Aboriginal Women and Girls Sports & Wellness Centre.
The announcement of funding support from Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Gabrielle Williams MP could not have come at a better time, especially after the past 12 incredibly challenging months. Sport plays a critical role in girls’ development and provides valuable skills to help them become successful in all facets of life. Through sports, females learn the value of teamwork, co-operation, and competition.
They also learn to take healthy risks that often lead to new opportunities. In an era when social isolation and mental health issues including social media–fuelled comparison anxiety are at an all-time high among young people, the peer bonding and sense of community provided by team sports are needed more than ever.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Women, Gabrielle Williams, said “the Fitzroy Stars have a proud history and a bright future. It’s wonderful to see work underway on this vital upgrade, which will give women and girls the facilities they need as the club grows. You have to see it to be it, and I can’t wait to see more female athletes hit the park in Stars colours.”
Former professional AFL footballer Simon Minton–Connell and CEO of Fitzroy Stars says “this is the first step towards the realisation of the construction of the Aboriginal Women and Girls Sport & Wellbeing Centre. This grant will enable us to commence Phase 1 of the construction of the changing rooms for our footballers and netballers – a vision that we have had for a long time. We thank the Minister and the Victorian Government for their support.” Added to this, the Women’s Football Team will play for the first time in the NFL on Saturday 10th April at 10,00am on their home ground, the Sir Douglas Nicholls Oval. The Sport & Wellness Centre will provide a sense of belonging, community and family. It will be a meeting place that will bring inspiration, connection and solidarity through its unique sports and wellness complex.
The official Turning of the Sod Ceremony was performed by Minister Williams Tuesday 30 March at the grounds of Fitzroy Stars Football & Netball Club. This will mark the commencement of the construction of the Aboriginal Women and Girls Sports & Wellness Centre.