Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has formally unveiled the Club’s brand new AFLW changerooms and recently erected scoreboard at VU Whitten Oval.
Pallas was taken on a guided tour of the Bulldogs’ flashy new women’s facility by Club President Peter Gordon and star player Isabel Huntington, hours before the Bulldogs’ AFLW clash with Brisbane.
The Daniel Andrews Government’s financial grant helped fund the redevelopment of the home and away changerooms under the John Gent Stand, as well as allowing the Club to purchase the new scoreboard.
“I think the Western Bulldogs deserve enormous credit for the great work they’ve been doing, not only for promoting female sport, but also for improving the connections between sporting ties and the need for improved community health,” Mr Pallas said.
“I’m particularly proud of the five million dollars that the State of Victoria has been able to contribute to the upgrade of these facilities.”
Gordon said the erecting the new VU Whitten Oval scoreboard was symbolic of the return of elite football being played at the Club’s home venue.
“It’s got a unique atmosphere, a unique feel, and a unique way of drawing people in, and making families feel welcome,” he said.
“That’s what we want to build. We want to build a strong and resilient community that loves coming here and gathering on these warm late summer nights to see our girls play.
“It’s a resurgent Western Bulldogs Football Club. It’s a resurgent Whitten Oval ground, and we’re going to continue to work on it, to make sure it’s a really welcoming venue.”
Huntington said that she and her team-mates were blown away by the transformation of the new changeroom facilities.
“The team got a chance to walk through the changerooms on Monday night and see it for the first time, and the reaction was that of kids on Christmas day almost,” she said.
“We were so excited to see what the Government and Western Bulldogs have invested into us. It really shows that the Dogs have that real mentality that everyone’s part of the club, whether you’re male or female.”
AFL Head of Women’s Football, Nicole Livingstone said: “As we continue on our journey of having female football treated with equal value and importance as men’s football, it is really heartening to see the state-of-the-art changeroom facilities now on offer at the Bulldogs for AFLW players,” she said.
“This will go a long way toward our players truly belonging within their footy club, even before they run out. Well done Doggies!”