A group of Docklands residents have formed the area’s newest sports club, based out of Ron Barassi Snr Park. In an exciting move for the area, Docklands Sports Club (DSC) has established a seven-person executive committee and plans to launch junior soccer and cricket programs, as well as yoga sessions, in the coming months.
Newly elected president Carina Parisella, a longtime Docklands resident and worker, said the move was a huge step for the local community.
“This is a great opportunity to bring joy to people’s lives, and bring people together through sport and recreation,” Ms Parisella said. “We see the club growing and evolving naturally through this great community.”
The committee has also already appointed a secretary, treasurer and head of coaching.
“We got together and spoke about our vision and goals for the club, and we want to ensure that, at the heart of this, is wanting to make each individual thrive irrespective of their culture, background and gender. This is a club that’s not going to say no.”
Initially, DSC plans to offer junior coaching clinics and soon host competitive local sport at Ron Barassi Snr Park, which is situated on Docklands Drive below the Bolte Bridge.
Docklands has long been crying out for a sports club based at the park, which opened in 2015 and boasts playing fields alongside a sports pavilion that features a social room, commercial kitchen and change-room facilities.
Last year, the City of Melbourne conducted surveys with almost 300 residents, workers, business owners and visitors to hear their feedback about the space.
Six in 10 (61 per cent) respondents believed there was a need for a local sporting and recreational group based out of the pavilion.
Ms Parisella said the newly-formed club would solve familiar issues for local parents.
“Being a Docklands resident, it’s really hard to get access to clubs for my son, so we have to look out to the suburbs. What we’d like to do here is provide a sports and recreation club for locals first, but also our neighbours nearby who might be struggling to get their kids into local clubs.”
Over 50 children attended a recent Aldi Miniroos session at Ron Barassi Snr Park, aimed for children aged four to 11.
Ms Parisella said they wanted to “keep the momentum going” from these popular clinics.
Further, she forecast the club creating strong links with Docklands Primary School, due to open in 2021.
“Absolutely, we’ve already discussed this. With the school coming on, this could essentially be their home ground. There’s a great opportunity to connect with the school, and when the time comes we’ll look at how we can work together with them.”
The club’s purpose statement has a focus on community values and diversity, something Ms Parisella wanted to foster.
“Being a female leader, I’m really passionate about seeing more girls involved in the program and having female role models in the space.”
DSC is working alongside the City of Melbourne and plans to officially launch in the coming months. Docklands' locals can expect organised soccer, cricket and yoga sessions at Ron Barassi Snr Park shortly.