Cheong Park Pavilion under construction.

Local sporting clubs will benefit most from the unveiling of the newly refurbished Cheong Park Pavilion in Croydon South and the transformed Dorset Recreation Reserve in Croydon, in Melbourne’s east.

Funded by Council in partnership with the Victorian and Australian Governments, the projects were formally opened on Thursday, 20 April, by Mayor Cr Rob Steane, Sonja Terpstra, Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region representing the Victorian Government, and Raff Ciccione, Federal Senator for Victoria, representing the Australian Government.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Rob Steane, said the $4 million in improvements will benefit groups across Maroondah, including South Croydon Football Club and South Croydon Cricket Club .

“It was fantastic to formally open improvements to Cheong Park Pavilion and Dorset Recreation Reserve,”  Cr Steane said. “These projects are an example of what can be achieved when all levels of Government work together, as they were funded by Council in partnership with the Victorian and Australian Governments.

“The completion of these projects will help encourage more female participation in sports such as cricket, football and soccer, while also providing improved facilities for community groups in Maroondah.”

The improvements made to Cheong Park Pavilion include upgraded façade, additional female-friendly change rooms, umpire change rooms, game-day toilets, renovated social space and kitchen. The design ensures inclusiveness and all-abilities access.

President of the South Croydon Cricket Club, Steve Duke, said the new facilities are a welcome addition.

“The new change facilities will be great for our women players. The new kitchen area will certainly make it easier for our dinners and match-day needs, and the overall refresh of the building is welcoming for everyone,” he said. “We also now have enough dedicated storage for the needs of both clubs!”

The $9.5 million transformation of Dorset Recreation Reserve was celebrated by those who call it home, including Croydon City Soccer Club and the Eastern Burmese Ethnic Community (EBEC).

The facility boasts a large multipurpose space, kitchen and bar upstairs, with impressive views of both the synthetic and natural soccer pitch and multipurpose courts, with female-friendly player and umpire change rooms downstairs.

EBEC President and Karen Community representative, Sal Pe, said the EBEC community is “thrilled to share the space with Croydon City Soccer Club” and hopes this will “strengthen the relationship and encourage sports engagement” within the community.

“Our common goal was that we wanted this space to be a safe space. The main purpose was to provide a family-friendly environment for the celebration of Burmese cultures and participation in sport,” Sal said.

The nearly completed Dorset Recreation Reserve, home to Croydon City Soccer Club.

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