Box Hill United receives green light for $2.8 million facility upgrade project

Box Hill United are set to benefit from a $2.8 million facility upgrade project at the club’s training base at Sparks Reserve, with works set to begin in September of this year.

The project will include the construction of a new satellite pavilion which will have four female-friendly changerooms, referee changerooms, a canteen, a first aid room, a storage room, public toilets and a covered external concourse for spectator viewing.

The Whitehorse City Council are funding the majority of the upgrades, with the state government tipping in $500,000 through the World Game Facilities Fund.

President of Box Hill United, George Petheriotis, welcomed the upgrades, which he explained had been in the works for the past few years.

“It was something we were working on with our council for many years,” he told Soccerscene.

“The club’s been around for almost 100 years and it’s never had appropriate facilities at Sparks Reserve. We’ve got a fantastic complex at Wembley Park across the road, but at Sparks Reserve (which is our training ground) we haven’t had the right facilities.

“The club has continued to grow over the years and we needed the facilities upgraded because it was too far for players of any age to walk over to Wembley Park to use amenities and so forth.

“Because of the growth of football and women’s football in the area, council got to a point where it acknowledged that the facilities needed to be updated, which was fantastic.”

With the female friendly changerooms a major part of the facility upgrades, Petheriotis explained how important it was for the club to have a true home for all types of football players.

“It’s of paramount importance. The club was really struggling to function without changerooms and attract players, especially female players,” he said.

“People don’t just want to roll up and train on a piece of land and go home, they want to go to a place where they want to be at and spend some time at. This includes the parents who come and drop off their kids, and want to hang around and have a look at training.

“Now, they’ll have that area to observe, purchase something from the canteen and so forth.”

The club, but also the local community, are set to be the big winners of the $2.8 million project.

“The benefits for the club include the good it will do for our players, who are very committed to their own football development,” Petheriotis stated.

“Being a premier NPL club for both men and women, they get access to warm changerooms, showers and places which are comfortable. We are finally getting a facility which makes the club feel like home, rather than just an open piece of land.

“In terms of the community, it cleans up the area. It makes it look more attractive and is safer, through pathways, driveways, parking, lighting and gardens, so it really makes the area look a lot nicer and more accessible.”

Alongside the upgrades project, which is set to be completed by June of next year, the club have recently received lighting upgrades at Wembley Park through council and state government funding, allowing the club to host night games.

The 200 LUX lighting upgrades came at a total cost of around $550,000.

Despite this, Box Hill are still looking for further necessary upgrades, which will look to take the club to the next level and move them towards an even brighter future.

“We are (looking for more upgrades). Along with the clubrooms that are being built now, I believe the final piece of the puzzle for Sparks Reserve is a hybrid synthetic surface,” Petheriotis said.

“We are not a club that is a summer or winter sport, we are an all-year soccer club that trains its players for 48 weeks of the year, so the hybrid surface is necessary. We have players from the age of four to seniors in both men and women, and they need a ground they can train on for the entire year.

“Unfortunately, as much as we all want grass, the grass doesn’t hold up for the whole year, so a hybrid synthetic is something that we need there to secure the club’s future as a premier development club.

“We want to keep kids off the street and play the game they love so they can aspire to be professionals. We know it’s very hard to achieve but we want to provide a place where people can strive to achieve their dreams.”

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Western Australian Government offers funding for sporting and recreational events

WA Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023

The Western Australian Government has released details on a financial support program to assist sport and active recreation organisations within the state, in hopes of strengthening and diversifying the sporting and physical activity options for WA and increase participation.

The Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program looks at bolstering the arts, culture, sports, and Indigenous Australian attractions of the state to a global audience.

Grants up to $50,000 are available, with 3 distinct categories on offer:

  1. Event Projects: Funding support for specific sports and recreation projects. Funding of up to $15,000 is available
  2. Event Hosting: Assistance for organisations hosting sports events. Funding up to $50,000 is available.
  3. Country Sport Enrichment Scheme: Focusing on enhancing sports opportunities in regional areas. Funding up to $30,000 is available.

The WA Government is encouraging all groups that qualify to apply, to do so in order to grow the sporting sector of Western Australia. All levels of sporting organisations from local to national are viable to apply, as well as national league clubs, community and recreation organisations, and any other sport clubs.

To be eligible, organisations must have the following:

  • Possess an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Hold sufficient insurance cover during the entirety of the grant period (this needs to be provided in application). Public Liability Insurance needs to be set at a minimum of $10 million per claim.
  • The state or national body (if this applies to your organisation) must provide evidence of support of the event being conducted in Western Australia.
  • Compliance with all relevant COVID-19 regulations and safeguards.
  • Be incorporated under the Associations Incorporations Act 2015 (WA) or a company limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or a registered local government entity in Western Australia.

For projects to be completed between January and June 2024, applications close at 5pm AWST on Monday, October 16, 2023.

A second round of funding is available for projects for July-December 2024. These will open January 29 next year 9am AWST, and closes February 26 at 5pm AWST, 2024.

It is essential that all applicants read and understand the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program guidelines prior to submitting an application.

Click here for more information.

Victorian Government’s Sporting Club Grants Program applications approaching close date for 2023

Sporting Club Grants Program 2023

With the 2023 football season done and dusted, Victorian grassroots football clubs and organisations are invited to apply for the Victorian State Government’s Sporting Clubs Grants Program, with Round 1 of funding closing 4pm, Thursday October 12.

The program’s aim is developing safety and sustainability within grassroots football clubs, as well as driving social and active local communities.

The Sporting Club Grants Program (SCGP) offers grants for a few key issues including:

  • Uniforms and essential participation equipment, first-aid, and safety
  • Increasing equity, diversity, and inclusiveness
  • Create opportunities for Victorians to participate and increase participation in areas which have low participation rates.
  • Build a sporting culture which reflects the changing community needs.

Applications are only accepted from community-based organisations involved in the delivery of sport and active recreation in Victoria.

Applicants must be non-government, not-for-profit, operating in Victoria and registered as one of the following entities:

  • an incorporated association
  • a company limited by guarantee.
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.

Eligible applicants can only submit one application in one of the following three categories:

Category 1: On-field Uniforms or Equipment

Up to $1,000 to purchase on-field playing uniforms, participation equipment for competitors and active participants, safety, injury prevention and first-aid equipment.

Category 2: Volunteers and Officials

Up to $2,000 for projects that provide improvements to volunteering and officiating.

Category 3: Access and Engagement

Up to $1,000 for tools and resources that improve accessibility, governance and strengthen engagement with members and participants, or up to $4,000 to plan and deliver a new sport or active recreation program.

Eligible applicants can submit one or more applications in the following category:

Category 4: Competitors

Up to $750 towards the costs of travel, accommodation and event registration fees for individual athletes selected to attend representative competition, selection trials or training camps. These cannot be for team travel.

Funding notes

Organisations that received a grant from the 2022-23 SCGP cannot apply for funding in categories 1, 2 or 3 are ineligible. All eligible organisations can, however, apply for category 4 funding.

The SCGP website also has walkthrough questions and guidance, to ensure your club makes the best decision for which category will best improve your club’s infrastructure. Particularly coming off the back of the success the Matildas sparked across the country, grassroots clubs are encouraged to integrate girls’ football as much as possible into the community, increasing diversity, and equality of participation.

Applicants must submit a completed online application via the Department’s Grants Portal before 4pm on 12 October 2023. Notification outcomes are to be released in December 2023.

Round 2 of the SCGP will open February 20 2024, and close March 20 2024, with notification outcomes scheduled for May 2024.

You must apply for funding within the category for which your project is supported.  Applications submitted in the incorrect category will be ineligible for funding.

To apply and for more information, click here.

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