Media releases

New sports pavilion getting more women and girls in the game 

13 September 2023

More women and girls are kicking goals and enjoying their favourite sport, thanks to a game-changing new pavilion for sports clubs at Royal Park.

The City of Melbourne’s $6.9 million redevelopment of Brens Pavilion is now complete, providing clubs and community groups with an inclusive home to come together to enjoy local sport.

The rebuild delivers on Council’s work to increase the number of accessible, inclusive spaces for women in sporting facilities across the city to boost participation.

The major upgrade features:

  • Eight gender-neutral and accessible changerooms, including toilets and showers
  • Two dedicated umpire changerooms
  • A first aid room
  • Significant improvements to the kitchen and social spaces

The additional changeroom facilities, cubicles around showers and the omission of urinals are a welcome change – creating more capacity for the expansion of women’s sport.

The new Brens Pavilion is expected to attract even more local women to community sport, with home clubs Melbourne University Rugby Football Club, University High School–Victoria University Amateur Football Club, and Parkville District Cricket Club preparing to introduce new teams to meet demand.

The Brens Pavilion redevelopment was backed by the State Government with $2.5 million from the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program.

Works to redevelop the pavilion began in early 2022, with local sporting clubs using temporary facilities to remain at the ground while works were underway.

Brens Pavilion is among three pavilions in Royal Park to be upgraded by the City of Melbourne – with a redeveloped Western Pavilion opened in 2022, and Ryder Pavilion works to kick off in 2024.

A community opening event will be held later this year to celebrate the project, with details to be shared closer to the date.

For more information on Royal Park pavilion projects, visit City of Melbourne.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“Our grassroots sporting clubs have seen women excel in sports, find new communities and improve their health and wellbeing. We’re delivering the space they need to be match ready with another new pavilion on the ground.”

“We’ve upgraded Brens Pavilion to give our local clubs the facilities they deserve, while catering for the immense demand in community sport – especially from women and girls.”

“Melbourne is Australia’s sporting capital, and the excitement around women’s sport is skyrocketing with more than 100,000 women playing sport in Melbourne this winter alone.”

“The new Brens Pavilion has already been a base for outstanding sporting success with the women’s rugby and football teams securing places in the finals fixture.”

Quotes attributable to Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio lead Councillor Dr Olivia Ball

“Every player deserves equal access to equal facilities. With supporter and participation rates on the rise, it’s vital our facilities give players every chance to thrive on and off the field.”

“We’re proud to have transformed the much-loved Brens Pavilion, featuring eight gender neutral and accessible change rooms that will accommodate more people in community sport.”

Quotes attributable to University High School–Victoria University Amateur Football Club’s Tony Boyce

“Having a space for our women’s team to get changed and shower makes it more appealing for them to spend more time at the venue before and after games which is amazing for our club culture and connection.”

“We now have a facility that we’re proud to call home and to host visitors. The future is exciting in knowing the City of Melbourne really supports women’s and men’s sports.”

“We’re looking enthusiastically towards season 2024 and beyond because we can offer first rate facilities tailored to all genders which is something we never have had, and we hope to add a second women’s football team in 2024.”

Quotes attributable to Melbourne University Rugby Football Club Director and General Manager Lotu Aiuta

“Our aim is not only to develop exceptional players but to help everyone leave as a better version of themselves and these facilities have already transformed our club both on and off the field – providing an environment that cultivates personal development and builds successful teams.”

“For the first time, our women’s team has access to dedicated spaces for post-game showers, private areas, and a true sense of belonging within Victoria’s oldest rugby club. This upgrade represents a significant milestone, fostering a welcoming environment for all members.”

“We know that offering facilities that cater to women significantly contributes to retaining and expanding our female team. We are now set to field two women’s teams and address the demand for numerous 7s teams that we struggled to accommodate in the past.”

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13 September 2023

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