Anakie reserve upgrades open

Posted in Club News

Anakie Recreation Reserve upgrades, 15 years in the making, were officially opened last Thursday, August 4 by deputy mayor Anthony Aitken, councillor Sarah Hathway and Anakie Football & Netball Club president Heath Menhennet. The upgrades, the second phase of a process that began in 2017, were completed this year thanks to $2.85 million of funding from the City of Greater Geelong.

Anakie footballers, netballers, and cricketers now have access to new social rooms, a commercial kitchen, gym, cool room, unisex amenities, a timekeepers' space, and administration office. Jessica Hodgson, Jet Mills, deputy mayor Anthony Aiken, Anakie Football & Netball Club president Heath Menhennet, Cr Sarah Hathway, Jaxon King, and Emily Ciliberti were all present.

Like many smaller towns, the sporting clubs are the heartbeat of the Anakie community, and football and netball club president Heath Menhennet said the new facilities meant the club could serve the community better. "That's what clubs do, you look after your locals," Mr. Menhennet said. "We do Friday night community dinners with the cricket club. We did a funeral for local legend Jack Butcher, we had about 230 in the room for that. What (these upgrades have) done is open up a friendly and warm place for people to come to, and not having to drive to Lara or Geelong to have a feed. It's created a bit of a buzz around the place which has been great and we're attracting some people that may not have come to the club in the past."

Mr. Menhennet thanked the city for funding the upgrades, which he said had brought the facilities up to modern standards. "We had a good ground but we had some of the worst facilities in Geelong; we had change rooms for the home and away teams and one toilet," he said. "We had a lot of asbestos and after we put in a coffee machine the power would trip out on game day. There were a lot of things that drove us crazy and made it hard for our volunteers and helpers. We can't thank the council enough, they fully funded this and I've got to tip my hat to them. We can't sing their praises enough."