New regional athletics facility at IYU now open!

Published: 26 March 2024

Cardinia Shire Council has today officially opened the new regional athletics facility at IYU Recreation Reserve on Henry Road in Pakenham.

Stage one of the project to develop a new 400m athletics running track with a 10-lane straight, includes facilities for long/triple jump, pole vault, high jump, javelin, shot put, hammer/discus, and steeplechase. 

The project was fully funded by Council and follows the earlier construction of the IYU Recreation Reserve, which opened in 2017.

IYU Recreation Reserve is Cardinia Shire’s premier soccer facility and one of the best soccer venues in Melbourne’s south-east. Previous works there included the construction of a full-sized senior soccer field, a pavilion, and all-weather synthetic soccer pitch, a playground, basketball half-court, and asphalting of the road and car park, including footpaths and drainage.

Stage two of the project will include a sports pavilion with a proposed design currently underway.

Additionally, as part of a partnership between South East Water and Cardinia Shire Council, a new drinking fountain has been installed at the reserve to help reduce waste and to ensure facility users and visitors have access to free, safe drinking water when they need it, where they need it.

The state-of-the-art fountains are equipped with an accessible fountain arm and a dog bowl, as well as sensor to measure how many plastic bottles have been saved from landfill due to re-filling.

Cardinia Shire Mayor Councillor Jack Kowarzik said projects like this are a great showcase of collaboration.

“I’d like to thank Athletics Victoria, Pakenham Little Athletics Club, Casey Cardinia Masters, Casey Cardinia Athletics Club, and South East Water for working collaboratively with Council.”

“Sport is a huge part of Aussie culture, and Cardinia Shire is one of the fastest growing areas in the state, so to be able to provide our growing community with new sporting facilities is a great thing. Not only will the new track and field benefit local athletics clubs here in Pakenham, but also the wider community who can use it all year-round.”

Central Ward Councillor Collin Ross expressed his enthusiasm for what the future of athletics in the area will look like.

“I’m thrilled to see this amazing facility officially opened and to see it ‘up and running’! It’s especially pleasing to be here for such a happy occasion since the burglary of the Little Athletics Club’s equipment from their club rooms earlier this year was a bitter note for everyone involved, on what should have been an exciting time.

“Moving to a premier regional facility has been a boon for raising interest in membership with the Club. I’m looking forward to seeing a future athletics Olympian originate from our shire!” Cr Ross said.

Mayor Kowarzik added that the installation of a new drinking fountain at IYU Recreation Reserve, along with several fountains being installed in the shire, is one way Council is delivering on its commitment to fostering healthy and inclusive communities.

“This partnership project is a resourceful and practical way of positively contributing to waste reduction efforts and promoting healthy hydration habits out in our community,” Mayor Kowarzik said.

“Part of a larger project to map the locations of existing fountains and ensure people know where to go in times of heat waves, homelessness or when exercising, it’s one piece of the puzzle in progressing our top wellbeing priorities from the Cardinia Shire Liveability Plan,” Mayor Kowarzik added.

“We’re excited to support the Pakenham community to stay active, healthy and hydrated whilst accessing free and fresh tap water at these fantastic new athletic and recreation facilities,” said South East Water General Manager Strategy and Stakeholder, Karen Lau.

“By choosing to refill your water bottle at a Choose Tap® fountain, you’re also helping to protect our environment by reducing the millions of single-use plastic bottles that end up in landfill or our waterways”, Ms Lau added.

The new fountain joins a growing list of accessible fountains installed at recreation reserves and facilities across Cardinia Shire, including:

  • Nar Nar Goon Netball Club
  • Dick Jones Reserve, Lang Lang
  • Toomuc Reserve, Pakenham

For more information about this major project and more across Cardinia Shire, visit

For more information on liveability, health, and wellbeing in Cardinia Shire, visit Council’s website at

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