New court for Willowmavin school

Willowmavin Primary School principal Andrew O’Callaghan with students Beau, Molly, Olivia and Hudson.

By Jackson Russell

Willowmavin Primary School will be able to completely revamp its outdoor basketball court area after receiving almost $200,000 in funding from the State Budget.

Currently, the school’s covered basketball court consists of a simple concrete slab, with two basketball and netball hoops, two metal walls and roof.

With the $195,165 of funding, the school hopes to install a third wall, a large door on the fourth, new lighting, and resurface the court with synthetic grass or a rubber material.

While it might not have an indoor gym like larger schools, the redevelopment will allow the school to conduct physical education classes in wet weather and potentially turn it into a facility for the broader community.

Willowmavin Primary School principal Andrew O’Callaghan said the grant was completed with assistance from the broader school community.

“We looked at a few options around the school and asked our community for their thoughts as well, because we want to make sure we’re inclusive of that, a few ideas came back and that was the biggest one,” he said.

“Some other ones came back we felt like we could manage in-house and perhaps wouldn’t cost as much whereas this one’s a pretty big project.

“It’s going to be awesome for enrolments coming through to see it looks like a much more modern facility down there and for the kids themselves, they’ll be able to run around in a safer environment and they’ll definitely be super excited about it.”

Willowmavin Primary School student Hudson in action on the basketball court.

Mr O’Callaghan said the new space could be used by community groups in Willowmavin and Kilmore.

“We’re not too far from Kilmore so if there were groups and organisations in Kilmore that were looking for a venue, it’s an opportunity for us to connect and provide that space for people as well,” he said.

“We’d love to have a sporting team that could potentially compete on weekends and with this, what we hope it will become, we have got that opportunity to have facilities to match that.”

Seymour College, $43,120, and Kilmore Primary School, $22,120, were also successful in receiving funding through the budget.
Puckapunyal Primary School was also in-line to receive $207,125 before it was decimated by a fire last weekend.

Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said there were eight schools in the electorate who would share in $1.3 million.

“Teachers and students across the region have had an incredibly challenging year, so it’s nice to be able to deliver a little bit of good news to these schools,” Ms Ryan said.