The Geelong Football Club’s Deakin Cats Community Centre welcomed its 30,000th visitor yesterday since opening its doors in June 2013.
Over 20 months of operation, the Deakin Cats Community Centre has been utilised by 30,000 people who have participated in community programs, education sessions, visited the centre’s memorabilia display or utilised the centre as a third party user.
Funded by the Victorian State Government, as part of the redevelopment of the Players Stand, the Deakin Cats Community Centre has allowed for greater engagement with the Geelong community.
"The Deakin Cats Community Centre represents the club’s commitment to community development, inclusion, support and serving our region", Geelong Cats Chief Executive Brian Cook said.
"We are proud to reach 30,000 visitors but more so we’re proud that we have had 54 different community organisations deliver health and wellbeing sessions from the centre. We are able to offer a state of the art facility free of charge to user groups."
Deakin University Vice Chancellor Jane den Hollander said Deakin is proud to be involved in such a fantastic facility.
"Pride in our football club is something Geelong is famous for, and just like our beloved Cats, this amazing Deakin Cats Community Centre brings people together across social boundaries and diverse interests," den Hollander said.
"With every person who walks through its doors, the Deakin Cats Community Centre is raising educational aspirations – for all students to be as good as they can be and this includes indigenous students, others who have been disadvantaged in some way and those busy with work and other responsibilities.
"This is a remarkable milestone and Deakin looks forward to watching the centre continue to flourish as it welcomes its next 30,000 visitors."
The club’s Cats in the Community program runs BioCATS, recently sponsored by local company Bisinella Developments, Cyber Cats, Close the Gap and Just Think out of the centre.
BioCATS, which has been run from the centre since its launch in 2013, is a partnership program between the Geelong Cats and BioLAB. Designed to be an interactive and engaging experience for students, BioCATS aims to take science and maths to the real world.
"BioCATS builds on the hope that it might only take a small spark of inspiration to ignite a lifetime of interest in science and mathematics throughout a student’s schooling or even their career," BioLAB’s Yvonne Van Der Ploeg said.
"The program is based on football, but focusses on the science and maths of sports in general as well as emphasising the health and wellness benefits of sport and physical activity."
Bisinella Development Manager, Richard Bisinella, said his company is looking forward to supporting the BioCATS program.
"Bisinella Developments is delighted to be coming on board as sponsor of the BioCATS program in 2015. Bisinella is in the business of building vibrant and successful communities and we feel that BioCATS is a natural fit with our objectives," Bisinella said.