A thriving Murwillumbah Australian Football club has been further boosted by last month’s opening of expanded clubhouse facilities at its home ground.
The Murwillumbah Vulcans Junior AFL Club last week celebrated the completion of a $30,000 expansion and upgrade of its canteen facilities at John Rabjones Oval.
Council and club representatives were joined by AFL Queensland’s Northern Rivers Regional Manager, Trent Ryan, last week to celebrate the project, which was jointly funded by Council and a $10,000 grant through AFL NSW/ACT and the Joss Group of development and management companies.
Murwillumbah Vulcans was one of 10 clubs to receive a grant through this year’s round of AFL and Joss Group Community Facility Grants and was the first in the Northern Rivers to receive assistance through the initiative.
The funds were used to remove a wall which previously separated the much smaller canteen from an adjacent storeroom, as well as improving the interior to create a much more functional and attractive facility.
The project also created a second window and service counter, facing the AFL oval, so volunteers working in the canteen could also watch the games.
The original window and counter faces pitches for the Murwillumbah Football Club, which previously occupied the canteen and will now shares it with the Vulcans.
Since the junior AFL club’s formation in 2009, volunteers have spent more than two hours every match day moving makeshift canteen facilities to and from a nearby shipping container and setting them up beneath the clubrooms verandah.
One of the club’s founders, Dom Trevaskis, said while the contributions of dedicated volunteers had overcome the lack of a permanent canteen building, the new facility would save club members many hours of work and would be a major asset to the Vulcans.
“Our player numbers have grown steadily during the past five years, increasing from 40 players last year to around 60 in 2014,” Mr Trevaskis said.
“We are also lucky enough to have an excellent group of volunteers and it’s great to able to provide a high-quality facility for those volunteers who assist in the canteen.
“It enables them to watch their children play at the same time and really brings them into the action.”
The Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Barry Longland, said AFL was enjoying considerable growth in the Northern Rivers, including the thriving Murwillumbah Vulcans and Tweed Coast Tigers clubs.
“Council is working closely with both clubs to accommodate increasing memberships and progressively improve their facilities,” he said.
“As a keen AFL spectator, I’m thrilled to see the sport growing in our area.”
Mr Ryan said the new canteen would be a highly valuable boost to a very well run club.
“The canteen is the main income source for any junior club and this project is a well earned