The Geelong Cats are excited to celebrate more than 125,000 visitations to the Deakin Cats Community Centre.

The recent milestone is a testament to the strong community support the centre receives, with more than 150 community access partners making use of the purpose-built facility at GMHBA Stadium since it was opened in 2013.

The latest visitor milestone is a welcome cause to celebrate during a challenging COVID-affected year.

The Deakin Cats Community Centre is offered free of charge to Geelong-region community groups with a health and wellbeing focus, and is also home to the club’s Sensory Zone and Gartland Heritage Centre.

It is the hub for our ‘Cats Learn’ programs GMHBA Healthy Heroes and BioCATS, which is co-produced with BioLAB and supported by Bisinella, and is the gathering point for the Geelong Cats Past Players and Officials Association on match days.

Geelong Cats GM – Community Sarah Albon said:

“The Deakin Cats Community Centre is part of the Cats in the Community ‘Cats Connect’ pillar, which sees the club working collaboratively with our partners to build a sense of belonging and cultural connection to our game, club and community; utilising the club’s platforms and people to drive greater inclusion, diversity and participation both on and off the field.”

“We love the diversity of our valued Access Partners and are proud to offer a free and accessible space that allows community groups, social service agencies, sporting organisations, schools, not for profits and charities to come together in a safe and pleasant environment, where the forums are designed to enhance the health and wellbeing of our community”.

Deakin Executive Director Diversity and Inclusion Mel Martinelli said:

“Through collaboration and engagement, we continue to build a strong sense of community in the Geelong region. This is exemplified by the Deakin Cats Community Centre, so we are thrilled that we have now reached the milestone of 125,000 visitors to the centre since its doors opened in 2013.

“At Deakin, we are creating an environment of inclusion, where we value our diversity, embrace difference and nurture a connect, safe and respectful community. Our focus is on creating places where everyone feels safe to bring their whole selves to all they do.

“The Deakin Cats Community Centre, which has more than 150 community access partners in the region, is an incredible resource for community groups with a health focus.

“Deakin is proud to have helped the Cats add the Sensory Zone to the centre, making footy more inclusive for all fans, especially those with a sensory disability.”