Plans to make Hobsons Bay the squash capital of Melbourne’s west have been touted by the sport’s national body.
Squash Australia (SA) has submitted a proposal to Hobsons Bay council to establish an indoor space in the municipality.
SA community facility manager Hamish Cain said it was an opportunity for Hobsons Bay to become a major drawcard for the sport, which is forecast to have more than 191,000 players this year.
This month’s national championships are being held at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Albert Park.
“Melbourne’s west has a population of 727,629,” Mr Cain said.
“It has three [squash] clubs and 13 courts.
“Hobsons Bay has a population of 86,360 and has no clubs and as a result, no courts.
“There is an alarming under supply in Melbourne’s west and in Hobsons Bay.
“There is the opportunity to address this by engaging with squash around the H.D. Graham Reserve [Altona Meadows] or the Paisley Park [Altona North] master planning process.
“Ideally, squash courts would be multi-use.”
Mr Cain said the estimated building cost was about $500,000. He said SA wanted the council to provide the courts and SA would lease the facility at commercial rates.
Cr Michael Grech said he believed it was “a brilliant opportunity” for Hobsons Bay.
“They want to have all their international games, so a whole heap of people coming to Melbourne, and the spot in Victoria will be Hobsons Bay,” he said.
“Here is an opportunity to provide an influx of tourism, a sporting facility and also a return on investment of approximately 10 per cent.
“When do we ever get a realistic commercial return on investment with any of our sporting facilities?”