Joining Yarra Ranges Mayor Len Cox at the Kilsyth site, Mr Merlino said the $2.6 million project would provide a major boost to community sport in the Dandenongs, particularly at junior level.

The redevelopment will see the installation of two additional multi-purpose courts to be primarily used for basketball and netball matches and tournaments.

“Victorians love their sport and that’s why we’re investing heavily in grassroots sporting infrastructure to ensure our communities are strong, happy, healthy and active,” Mr Merlino said.

“The Kilsyth Sports Centre is home to the largest basketball association in  – the Kilsyth and Mountain District Basketball Association – and there are more than 15,000 players alone vying for court time and the numbers continue to grow.

“Add to this the three other sports played at Kilsyth Sports Centre – badminton, table tennis and netball – and it’s no surprise that the current facility is at maximum capacity.

“That’s why the Victorian Government provided $500,000 towards the project to help the clubs and their associations at Kilsyth meet the increasing demand for participation.”

Mr Merlino said basketball, badminton, table tennis and netball are all played at the Kilsyth Sports Centre, which is the home of the Kilsyth Cobras men’s and women’s teams, that compete in the South East Australian Basketball League.

He congratulated the Kilsyth and Mountain District Basketball Association for their $1.5 million contribution and the Shire of Yarra Ranges for their $600,000 support.

“The redevelopment will help introduce new opportunities for the Centre to host more evening indoor netball competitions, as well as national and regional championships,” Mr Merlino said.

“It also provides elite senior teams like the Kilsyth Cobras, the chance to showcase their up and coming players and hopefully attract even more spectators to their home games.

“Once they’re up and running, these two new courts will go a long way towards providing the extra court space that this community requires.”

Mr Merlino said the project has an emphasis on water conservation and energy efficiency through water harvesting, double glazing and use of natural light, as well as high efficiency lighting and efficient thermal insulation.