To help consolidate losses related to the premature cancellation of the 2021 Winter Football season due to COVID-19, Football NSW has announced $1.5 million in fee relief for its Associations and Clubs.
The Football NSW Board identified the need to provide support to its Associations and Clubs to ensure their ongoing solvency and assist them through these challenging times.
And in spite of the difficult circumstances for all stakeholders involved in the game, Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge credited the strength of football in coming through previous Covid-enforced lockdowns.
“As we have stated previously, our player numbers can only continue to grow, and football can only remain the most popular participant sport in NSW, if there is sustained financial viability at each tier of the game,” Hodge said.
“The sustainability of a healthy Association and Club framework is fundamental to our continued development and maintaining our capacity to progress and achieve our lofty ambitions.
“With this in mind, and on the recommendation of management, the Board resolved to provide a discount on the Football NSW Capitation Fee for the 2021 Winter season.
Hodge acknowledged the hardworking efforts of each of the Associations and Clubs who have been resilient in the face of the COVID-affected season.
“I want to acknowledge the dedication of our volunteers, administrators, players, referees and coaches that enabled us to still deliver part of a football season,” he said.
“Once again, the Football NSW community has come together to support each other and keep our participants and their families safe, something I feel that’s been truly inspiring.
“Football is a vital part of the lives of our players and other participants, but also vital to our communities.
“Thank you all for your work to keep things going through this period of disruption.”
Football in NSW played a leading role in ensuring the community, and sport as a whole, did their bit in fast tracking a return to sport via the recent NSW Health initiative, ‘Super Sport Sunday’.
“Our collective commitment to a safer community was evident in our recent initiative to offer our facilities as vaccination hubs to the NSW Government,” Hodge said.
“What started as an offer of facilities quickly evolved into a request from NSW Health for football to mobilise its community in certain regions where vaccination rates were desperately needed to be increased.
“Answering the call, we led a campaign for football participants in those regions to get vaccinated and engaged other sports to join as we created a ‘Super Sport Sunday’ for vaccinations at Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA).
“We have since been briefed that the campaign helped set a new single day record of vaccinations at SOPA, with many people wearing the jerseys of their favourite football clubs.
“This is another good example of how, as a code and a football family, we are leaders in our communities and, when we work together, we can achieve great things.”