Hawthorn has reached a historic milestone in the construction of its future home at the Kennedy Community Centre, with the official ‘Turning of the First Sod’ at the Dingley site.
Hawthorn President Andy Gowers, CEO Ash Klein and Senior Coach Sam Mitchell were joined by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, along with state and local representatives, to celebrate the special occasion on Friday morning.
Stage 1 of the transformational project will see the delivery of the Community pavilion and AFLW Oval, featuring full broadcast capabilities and grandstand seating, accessible to the Community.
Simultaneously, the adjacent ‘Harris’ Elite Training and Administration Facility, home to the club’s staff, past & present players will also take also shape, which includes an indoor training field, high performance gym & aquatic facilities, and an MCG-sized oval.
The state-of-the-art high-performance base will provide players and staff with the best facilities in the country and revolutionise Hawthorn’s standing as a destination club for both its AFL and AFLW programs.
With major construction underway on the 28-hectare site, an anticipated completion date of Stage 1 has been set for the second half of next year.
Hawthorn President Andy Gowers highlighted the significance of reaching the sod-turning milestone.
“Today is an incredibly exciting day as we surge ahead in the construction of the Kennedy Community Centre,” Gowers said.
“This facility will not only safeguard our football club’s future, but also create a long-term home for the entire Hawthorn family.
“We’re incredibly proud and grateful to be delivering what is one of the largest investments by an AFL club, working in partnership with federal and state governments, the City of Kingston and the AFL.”
CEO Ash Klein said the facility would give Hawthorn a competitive edge on rival clubs, while also providing significant benefits for the local community.
“The Kennedy Community Centre will be a game changer,” Klein said.
“With equal facilities for both men’s and women’s programs, every single Hawthorn player will be supported to reach their potential in a high-performance environment that is the envy of the competition.
“Being able to thrive in this remarkable facility wouldn’t be possible without our generous donors, in particular the extraordinary contribution of former Director Geoff Harris and his family – we are incredibly grateful for such loyal support.
“We envisage the Kennedy Community Centre being a home for our past players, members, fans, and local community – something we can all be proud of.”
To ensure the successful delivery of our new home and that Hawthorn’s future is safeguarded, the club has developed a fundraising strategy to actively seek out passionate, like-minded contributors to help support the construction of our new elite facility.
If you would like to learn more about how you can support this significant project through a tax-deductible donation, please visit Hawthorn Football Club Foundation for more information.