Feature Pitch

The community story I will be writing about is the new construction of the sports pavilion building at Duncan McKinnon, a park that supports netball, athletics, cricket and soccer. The new pavilion has been on the council’s agenda for over 6 years. There have been difficulties and set-backs with its creation. Construction finally began late last year. I want my story to be about the community surrounding the park and what the new building will mean for locals and the sports clubs involved. I also want to try and link it in with the recent opening of the Glen Eira Sports and Aquatics Centre (GESAC) which is only a few kilometres from Duncan McKinnon.

The new building will be home to sporting groups such as the Glen Huntly Athletics and Caulfield and District Netball Association (CDNA). The pavilion will be providing better facilities for the clubs and create a hub for players and competitors to reside in. The car park surrounding one side of the park was recently re-developed and has created less clutter within the car park.

I plan on finding out background information about the initial idea to re-build the old pavilion, from there, the process of it finally being given the green light considering the prolonged time it took from its inception to construction, and eventual completion, due in the winter of 2014.

I also need to find out more about the people who will be using the building and their thoughts on it, as well as the local community who will be affected with the extra traffic and parking creating by the new pavilion. CDNA has experienced a rapid growth in the amount of teams playing in its competition and the new pavilion will be providing them with a state of the art building with facilities for its supervisors, umpires and players. They are currently using portables to house the umpires, equipment and match-day office.

I want this feature to explore the growing problem of childhood obesity in today’s society. I would like to talk about the importance of exercise and sport for young children to help curb this growing trend in kids. I plan on using statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to find out stats about today’s generation of children and the exercise patterns they have compared to past generations. This research will form the basis of my feature and help provide details into the problem. A recent study has found that the kids of today are spending over half of their free time in front of a screen.

I think this story would interest local news outlets because it focuses on a community building and its completion will benefit local sports clubs. News outlets have always had an interest in reporting of the weight issues of today’s society and also the effects of technology and fast foods have had on kids. They like to report on statistics that show that kids are not getting enough exercise and not spending enough time outside playing like kids of past generations. I would hope that the story would outline these issues and talk about what the new pavilion could mean for parents raising their kids around the area.

I want to focus on that area for the story because the problem with childhood overweight and obesity is becoming more and more of a problem each year and governments and communities need to be proactive and conscious of what they can do to help curb this growing trend. I think by looking into what a community can do to help with the problem will help parents think about the issue and get their kids more motivated to get involved with outdoor activities such as sport.

Obesity in children puts them at a higher risk for disease as an adult, diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep problems, and bone and joint problems. The world has changed over the last century and the habits of children in today’s society are increasingly attributing to childhood obesity. With more fast foods and fatty foods and drinks being available for kids, and an easier and cheaper option for parents to provide to them, kids aren’t eating as healthy as they used to. Add to that, kids are spending more and more time in front of electronic devices rather than using their time to play outdoors or even with proper old school toys that don’t require electricity to function.

The community needs to be aware of the risks involved in childhood obesity and make an effort to avoid their children becoming part of this growing issue. I think it is important to always keep social issues in the public eye and I think this issue is an important one not just for today’s society, but for future generations in which the trend is likely to grow if more isn’t done to stop it.

Another angle I was thinking of looking into is the fact that there is growing construction throughout residential communities with apartment complex’s and units. Instead of letting the dilapidated building be pulled down and used as a new site for housing, the government and city council have decided to re-invest with the interests of existing community members and focus on the important of keeping local parks and sports facilities. These sorts of facilities are an integral part of the community, providing residents with a place to join in sporting activities.

I aim for my feature to bring awareness to the childhood overweight and obesity issue. I also want to give the community an option to read up on the new construction and get information on it.

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