Pictured: The YMCA-managed Casey Stadium has held many events over the last 100 days, including the inaugural Victorian AFL Wheelchair Championships in August.
A resounding vote of community approval highlighted 100 days of operation of City of Casey's new state of the art sports complex, Casey Stadium, on 19 September.
The YMCA-managed Centre underwent an $18.3 million redevelopment, relaunching to the local community in June with 10 multipurpose courts, including a show court seating with a capacity of over a thousand people.
It now has the capability to host major events and, over the initial period, YMCA has worked closely with a range of stakeholders including Casey Basketball Association and Casey Netball Association to showcase the facility.
The launch in June highlighted a Big V All Star Origin Series which saw the best players from the Big V competition compete in a men's and women's all-star game. A Victorian Netball League game has also been held at the facility with over 1,000 spectators in attendance.
The biggest event held at the facility to date was a pre-season basketball game between Melbourne United and American college team Wisconsin. Over 1,600 people were in attendance to watch a closely contested match that saw Melbourne United hit a match-winning three-point shot with just 2.7 seconds remaining.
YMCA Centre Manager Ian Jenkins is delighted with what has been delivered at the facility within a short period of time and predicted significant growth.
“The interest in the facility has been incredible. It truly is a start of the art facility and the community have been very supportive and excited by the venue,” he said.
“We continue to increase our reach with new sports and community activities being added to our programming in the coming months.”
Inclusive programming has also been an early success with the introduction of a range of new sports and activities aimed at providing opportunities to people of all abilities.
The Southern All Abilities Basketball League has expanded its weekly competition usage from four courts to six courts, while the suite of inclusive programs now offered at Casey Stadium also includes All Abilities Dance, Karate and Sports Zone, which is a multisport program.
Casey Stadium also hosted the inaugural Victorian AFL Wheelchair Championships in August. The evolving sport was well received by the Casey community and the YMCA and AFL Victoria are working closely to grow the sport within the region.
A key to the initial success of the expanded programs has been the strong relationship with local community groups and peak bodies such as Disability Sport and Recreation.
“The YMCA has worked closely with several organisations including the Centre for Multicultural Youth to identify the needs of the community and customise programming to suit,” said Mr Jenkins.
Casey Stadium will undergo further redevelopment with stage two to see a dedicated gymnastic hall and indoor cricket area added to the facility. Work will commence in 2018 and see the YMCA invest $780,000 into the project.
For more information on programming at Casey Stadium visit the YMCA website at www.caseystadium.ymca.org.au