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The AFL and Ausco Modular have teamed up to develop revolutionary temporary change and clubroom facilities for community football clubs affected by disasters, with Princess Park in Shepparton the first location for the project.

The $800,000 portable facility, built over the summer and unveiled on Thursday, provides the Shepparton Swans Football Netball Club with temporary clubrooms which have been installed ahead of the Swans’ first home match of the 2023 Goulburn Valley League season on April 22. The clubrooms will remain at Princess Park while permanent facilities are redeveloped, necessary following severe flood damage.

Built by Ausco Modular in Adelaide and transported to Shepparton in the past week, the rapid deployment clubrooms consist of changerooms for players and umpires.

The AFL-owned facility is expected to have a 30-year life cycle and has potential to be located at 15 to 20 different sites, to benefit community football clubs most in need.

Greater Shepparton in regional Victoria was one of the areas hit hardest by floods that devastated parts of the country in October last year, with the famous 95-year-old local football and netball club, Shepparton Swans, facing the prospect of not having a home base in 2023.

Head of AFL Victoria, Ben Kavenagh, said: “Community football clubs are the heartbeat of towns and communities across the country and the Shepparton Swans epitomise this as much as any club, having been a big and important part of the local community for nearly a century.

“To see the Shepparton region devastated by flooding was shattering and placed enormous pressure on residents, local businesses and community groups like sporting clubs. To have this portable facility in place at Princess Park, the first-of-its-kind for our industry, will hopefully alleviate some pressure on people involved in the football club and help the Swans bounce back strongly from the floods.

“On behalf of the AFL, I thank Ausco Modular for partnering with us on this project. We also greatly appreciate the support provided by the Greater Shepparton City Council with whom we have worked closely to bring this project to life.

“Hopefully this is a big success and benefits not just the Shepparton Swans but other clubs most in need over coming decades.”

Greater Shepparton City Council’s Director Infrastructure, Gary Randhawa, said: “Council is looking forward to seeing these temporary facilities installed ahead of the upcoming football season, which enables Princess Park to be utilised once again as an important sporting field and recreation reserve in the region.

“We thank user groups and the community for their patience over the past five months."

Shepparton Swans FNC President, Jarrod Sutherland, said: “Having this new temporary facility installed for the first time, at Princess Park, is fantastic for our club.

“A lot of people at the club have been working really hard so the club can have a successful 2023 season following all the devastation caused by the floods. These facilities will help us to function properly when at one stage it looked like we may be without a home base for this season.

“We thank the AFL and Greater Shepparton City Council for their support of the Shepparton Swans and the local community.”


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