CONSTRUCTION is expected to start in March on an addition to the Ashwood Park clubhouse in response to the rise of women's rugby.
The NSW Government has awarded $407,000 to the Bathurst Bulldogs Rugby Club and the club will add $100,000 of its own for the extension to the clubhouse.
The extension will incorporate two change rooms, two sets of bathrooms, female toilets, a disabled toilet which will be available to the public and a meeting room.
Women players have to use the same change rooms as the male players at the moment.
"The building is 12 years old and we didn't have girls [women players] to start with," Bathurst Bulldogs' Adam Hart said.
"In the last five years, we've created the women's rugby in Bathurst Bulldogs, so we thought it was necessary for them to have their own facility.
"They've nearly got enough for two teams in the competition, these girls, and they've won the last five premierships."
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Player Kate Gullifer said the new facilities would be a boost.
"Having our own change rooms and things like that makes it more appealing for girls [to play], I think," she said.
"When we've got first grade, second grade, third grade men's playing, as well as women's, there's just that little bit of urgency to get out [of the change rooms] so the next team can come in, so women being able to have their own just lets the men do their own thing in their own change room now."
Ms Gullifer said the increase in the popularity of the sport locally could be partly put down to players being more at ease with the physical aspects of the game.
"Women are more comfortable with it becoming a contact sport," she said.
"I think the first couple of years, people were a little bit hesitant to really cop that contact, but now there's a safety around it, there are regulations, people know all the rules.
"It's a lot easier now that there's awareness around the contact and how that works."
State MP Paul Toole, who was at Ashwood Park to announce the grant, said the new facilities will also be useful in hosting "major regional sporting events".
The grant is from the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund.
Ashwood Park also received NSW Government funding in 2019 for a lighting upgrade.