The first high-specification modular sports facility was unveiled today at Snowtown Oval in SA’s mid north – kicking off a national roll out of building projects to accommodate the rapid growth in female football.
SANFL and Ausco Modular delivered the $620,000 project at Blyth-Snowtown Football and Netball Club (BSFNC), which includes two unisex football change rooms, a netball changeroom, an AFL-standard umpires’ facility, storage, public toilets and a canteen.
The building, constructed at Ausco’s Edinburgh manufacturing plant and installed on-site last month, was funded by the State Government, Wakefield District Council and a range of community sporting groups.
SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson said a “once in a generation” growth in grassroots female participation in football since the inception of the AFLW, SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League and new regional women’s leagues had created an urgent need to develop new and existing facilities across the State.
Mr Parkinson said over 90 per cent of changerooms in SA were non-compliant for female football and umpiring participants, with an estimated $160 million investment needed to improve facilities.
“We’ve seen female football grow by a massive 620 per cent in South Australia since 2016 with over 7,000 female participants in 2018,” he said.
“The requirement for new changerooms, as well as new grounds, lighting and improved surfaces in every corner of the State has therefore never been greater.”
Mr Parkinson said innovative modular design would have a swift impact at grassroots level by producing purpose-built facilities for the needs of the local community from a design, quality and cost perspective.
“This new modular building innovation enabled Blyth-Snowtown Football and Netball Club to gain a new community sports facility 60 per cent faster and at 30 per cent less cost than traditional building methods,’’ he said.
“The efficiency of the building method is expected to be a game-changer across the industry in providing unisex facilities to service the rapid growth in female football across South Australia.”
Ausco’s South Australian Regional Manager, Simon Manser, said that with less site disruption, due to 90 per cent of the building being completed prior to delivery and installation, the modular building method also significantly reduced the impact on local sports clubs continuing to function during the construction phase.
“We’ve been innovators in modular construction for many years and it’s been very rewarding to work alongside SANFL and contribute to the growth in grassroots sport,” Mr Manser said.
“The fit between the benefits modular construction offers in terms of less time, cost, disruption and high quality, and what’s needed to meet the facilities requirements for local and regional clubs, couldn’t be stronger.”
AFL Facilities and Projects Manager Ken Gannon said the Snowtown project was one of 14 designs available to community sporting clubs across Australia through AFL’s collaboration with Ausco.
“All designs meet the AFL Preferred Facilities Guidelines and will support current players, not only from the AFL but across all sporting users, and importantly support the emerging female and multicultural participants through the provision of safe and private changing facilities,” Mr Gannon said.