Mr BROADBENT (McMillan) (10:54): There could’ve been champions asked every Saturday morning: what have you learnt today? I’ve learnt today that the people of Corangamite are in very good hands under the stewardship of their member, Sarah Henderson. I would also like to talk about the Building Better Regions Fund, because it was from it that a $900,000 grant went to the Bunyip Strikers soccer club.
Adrian Gatti said it was ‘great news for a little town with a big heart’.
But none of this would have happened without Tony Arrigo. I will read to you Tony’s story about the creation of the Bunyip Soccer Club:
It was a dream come true for me to establish a soccer club in Bunyip. I didn’t have the time when I had a young family. Once I retired in 2007, though, my wife Carmelina said to speak to a few people about establishing something. Initially I spoke to Bill Pearson and Alan Cole.
After an expression of interest was published locally, about 50 people turned up at the Bunyip Hall. I thought that was very encouraging. In 2008 I shopped around for a committee for the club and after six to eight months I had everyone together.
Next I had to get permission to start up a soccer field at the recreation reserve. The request was granted by the reserve committee and the Cardinia Shire Council and we were given the west side of the reserve.
Next began the work to establish a proper playing field, something that was achieved through the efforts of community volunteers and donations from businesses around the town. A lot of time was spent by volunteers raising money to buy goals and soil.
It took 12 months to get the ground up to scratch and we started playing interclub matches. In 2009, we began getting ready for competition with gala days and friendly games with nearby clubs, applying to the Football Federation of Victoria to get permission to play in a league.
It meant the ground had to be up to scratch and compliant with all the standards. In the beginning the conditions were difficult and we were running lighting from a lead that was plugged into the kiosk, so the kids could see in the winter and for the seniors to train. The kiosk was also a source of water and drinks.
Lighting was organised in late 2010 or early 2011 with help from Member for Bass Ken Smith and several other politicians. In 2010 we were accepted into the metropolitan league. The numbers have always been good—around 150 to begin with and around 200 now—and we have six playing teams.
I would like to congratulate and thank Russell—
that is, me—
the volunteers and Cardinia Shire Council for all its support. I feel so proud too that Cardinia Shire Council named Arrigo Avenue after Carmelina and I.
That’s a great story from Tony. It’s a good story about an Italian migrant who brought soccer to Bunyip and made it a tradition for time to come.