Clublinks has recently celebrated two years of operations and partnership with the Darebin City Council. In only two years, Clublinks has opened two newly constructed venues in Narrandjeri Stadium ($32m build) in Thornbury and Northcote Aquatic & Recreation Centre (NARC) ($65m build), while transitioning into the management of longer term established venues Darebin Community Sports Stadium, Bundoora Public Golf Course and Northcote Public Golf Course.

The Clublinks Darebin team at a recent planning day, all posing with peace signs
The Clublinks Darebin team came together at a recent planning day

Group Manager of the Darebin Venues at Clublinks Troy Walker explains the rapid growth of facilities “We started with zero staff and zero venues, and now have over 340 engaged staff across the 5 venues, facilitating over a million visitations through the doors, all while opening close to $100m in new assets provided by Council to the community”.

“What has been great for us has been our local Darebin workforce, as we have expanded, we have provided more and more opportunities for the local community to be involved and grow careers in Darebin. This then further extends into the local economy and our support to local businesses though our operations in the venues”.

NARC’s unprecedented success in only six months, has achieved over 10,000 venue memberships and positioned the centre as a leading community leisure facility in Australia, while Narrandjeri Stadium has attracted events of a national scale, while accommodating to local sporting requirements in the state-of-the-art venue.

Exterior shot of Narrandjeri Stadium, with people playing on outdoor courts
Narrandjeri Stadium, Thornbury

One such local sporting organization, Darebin Basketball Association (DBA), has shown incredible growth of 265% in participation since Narrandjeri opening. Luke Van Rijn from DBA spoke to the success Narrandjeri Stadium is an exceptional venue that has significantly contributed to the growth and success of basketball in Darebin. The positive feedback from participants and visitors, the high standard of the facility, and the value it adds to the sport make it an integral part of the community. I commend the Clublinks team at Narrandjeri Stadium for their hard work and dedication in complementing such a fantastic sporting facility”.

Clublinks has managed to turnaround what were under-utilised venues in Darebin to now be vibrant community hubs. A great example of this is the attendances recorded through Bundoora and Northcote Public Golf courses and Darebin Community Sports Stadium. Clublinks expertise in bringing a great customer experience and new audiences to the venues has resulted in record attendances in the 23/24 year.

Troy added: “What has been most pleasing has been our ability to re-activate what were previously seen as older, aging facilities to bring participation levels never seen before” Our approach has been to provide community spaces where the community feel they belong which has resonated in Darebin. The best part about this, is we are only 2 years into this journey and we are only just getting started”