Molly Tigchelaar has been playing football for North Ballarat for about four years, but she's never had a game on Mars Stadium's turf.
The AFL-standard ground is used for the biggest matches in Ballarat, including several Western Bulldogs home games in the past couple of years, but to attract more games - like AFLW matches - the change rooms need a major revamp.
The $600,000 commitment to rebuild the change rooms and make them more female-friendly means getting a guernsey to run out onto the field is a step closer for players like Ms Tigchelaar.
"It's awesome just knowing that everyone in Ballarat is getting behind the girls' footy and making it happen, giving more people an opportunity to play." she said.
"It gives me a bit of hope for the future, and makes me want to continue playing footy."
Announced by the state government and City of Ballarat on Friday, the funding is part of the $6.6 million stage two plan.
The first step involves reconfiguring the existing player change rooms underneath the stadium - installing more shower and toilet cubicles, for example - to be completed by Ballarat's CIQ Constructions before the pre-season begins next year.
This is part of a broader push across the state to attract more women to organised sport, with millions in funding available to sports clubs large and small.
City of Ballarat councillor Samantha McIntosh recounted after a rained-out match in 2008, male football players were showered and already at the bar, while the female netball players had to share a single facility.
"What we've seen in the past decade is an enormous leap forward," she said.
"(The statewide female-friendly facilities program) sends a loud and clear message not just to girls but to boys that sport is for everyone, it breaks down stereotypes," Buninyong MP Michaela Settle added.
The next phase of the $6.6 million stage two upgrade includes a new front gate and secondary gates from the showgrounds, each with extra toilet facilities, and permanent food and drink buildings.
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Wendouree MP Juliana Addison said the upgrades will make Mars Stadium a "Mecca for sport".
"We know when you build a stadium like this, they will come, and that's what's happened with the five Bulldogs games," she said.
"With the important upgrades we're announcing today, we're hopeful we'll get some AFLW games here at the start of 2021."
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