MITTA United netballers' five-year goal to obtain funding to repair courts at Eskdale has finally been achieved.
The club, which also plays matches in the Tallangatta and District league at Mitta, has secured a $100,000 grant from the Victorian government's country football and netball program.
The cash splash will supplement $35,000 also raised by the Mitta United Football-Netball Club, $10,000 of in-kind support and another $10,000 from Towong Shire.
It's expected the two courts will be upgraded for the start of the 2018 season when the club hopes to be able to also field an under-12 midgets team which is not possible presently.
The existing courts with large cracks are considered too dangerous for early morning starts.
Club president Laura Peters said the $100,000 funding grant was a major relief.
“It was the third time we had applied for this big grant,” she said.
“We've also applied for a lot of smaller grants in between as well just to try and get little projects done, but we weren't successful for those either.
“So we were starting to get a little bit worried.”
The project will deliver a new asphalt and acrylic court compliant with Netball Victoria standards and the second court will be concrete, allowing teams to practice and warm-up.
It will also feature tennis court markings for additional use.
The Mitta courts were upgraded two years ago after they also didn't meet requirements before attention turned to Eskdale.
A recent safety audit found the Eskdale courts had a limited life-span.
“We are still allowed to play on them,” Ms Peters said.
“But after being audited we were told they had one to three years left in them.
“We had to do something sooner rather than later.”
Towong mayor David Wortmann praised the club and community for their ongoing commitment to the project.
“To think that such a small community can raise $45,000 in cash and in-kind support is phenomenal,” he said.
“This funding has been hard earned and the people of this community thoroughly deserve it.
“Sport is the lifeblood of many rural communities and this announcement is a huge boost for Eskdale.
“The club will be able to accommodate a new junior team as well as hosting competition matches to Netball Victoria standards.
“People in small communities are at risk of isolation so projects like these play an important role in giving everyone opportunities to participate.”
Mitta United presently has three senior and three junior teams.