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Diamond Valley United receive $650,000 facility upgrade boost

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Diamond Valley United are set to receive new female-friendly change rooms in the coming weeks, after receiving a significant amount of funding from Banyule City Council and the Victorian Government.

The local council has put $400,000 towards the upgrades at Partington Flats, whilst the Victorian Government has put forward $250,000 through their World Game Facilities Fund.

The works are set to begin in the next couple of weeks, with the upgrades to be ready for the new season in 2022.

President of Diamond Valley United, Mark O’Shea, explained the growth of the female side of the game at the club helped the cause for the eventual upgrades to the clubrooms.

“The overall push for female facilities was pretty much driven by the local Banyule Council,” O’Shea told Soccerscene.

“The team at Banyule Council came down to speak with us, and asked what we needed as a club around 3-4 years ago. At that time, new changerooms were our number one priority, alongside other facilities which needed to be upgraded.

“Four years ago, we had one female team, but now we have around seven – so I guess the growth over time on the female side of the club drove the council to take action and get the clubrooms upgraded.”

O’Shea believes the upgrades will have a huge benefit for females involved in the club, who don’t feel comfortable in using the amenities currently.

“The changerooms we have been using are about 35 years old and aren’t really female friendly at all,” he said.

“So, we are turning our changerooms from two into four.

“It allows us to have much more appropriate female friendly facilities. They are all currently old-school open showers and females can’t shower there and use the changeroom properly.

“Having the four changerooms will allow us to cope with the number of teams we have on the female side, but also they will be great spaces for everyone at our club.”

The hope is that the new facilities will create new opportunities for the club to further connect with the wider community.

“We share our club with schools and other groups, so having those female friendly facilities opens up some new avenues for us to share our facilities with new community groups and schools,” O’Shea said.

The pandemic has affected the club in recent times, like most sporting organisations across Australia, but a strong rebound is expected according to the club president.

“There’s no way we could afford to do the upgrades ourselves, COVID has had a massive effect on all sporting groups in the last two years,” he said.

“Our numbers have gone down around 30-40% when it comes to juniors, but in saying that we do expect a big bounce back from a lot of kids at the other side of the pandemic.

“I think parents are keen to get kids out of their homes and off their iPads. Having those facilities at our club will also allow us to take on another 5 or 6 more female teams, which is fantastic.”

Alongside the new clubrooms, further upgrades will look to leave Diamond Valley United in good stead in the long term.

“We’ve been working with council and we are looking to do a lighting upgrade which is due for the next financial year,” O’Shea said.

“Following that, we are getting our ground reconfigured and resurfaced. These upgrades will be great for the future of our club.”

 

 

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.

Oceania Football Confederation has a new Home of Football

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Home of Football has been completed – based in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Home of Football has been completed – based in Auckland, New Zealand.

The complex, which has been gifted the Māori name Te Kahu o Kiwa, is predominantly an administration space. The building also features two artificial pitches and dressing rooms that are capable of hosting elite matches.

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo believes the complex will play a crucial part in the confederation’s goal of seeing two Oceania nations competing at the FIFA World Cup 2026 and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027.

“Receiving the resource consents and watching this project come to life has been one of my highlights at OFC,” Castillo said.

“We’ve been based in Penrose for many years and to finally complete this project is a relief.

“It’s going to be a refreshing change for us all and from an organisational standpoint Te Kahu o Kiwa will house many opportunities to develop players, coaches, officials and administrations across the region.”

FIFA has been a major contributor to the project, expressing their delight at seeing a finished project for the OFC and its Member Associations.

As the major contributor to the project, FIFA said it is pleased to see the completion of an attractive, modern and welcoming Home of Football for the OFC and its Member Associations.

“We give credence to the value added of the OFC, who have achieved this key milestone, for its staff and the region,” Sanjeevan Balasingam said, FIFA’s Director of Member Associations Asia and Oceania.

“What makes this project special is the design of the building and its spaces, where people can work, meet and talk, all for the betterment of football.

“The facility underlines one of OFC’s key objectives of being a modern and progressive organisation, firmly focused on the future.”

UEFA Assist, a development arm of UEFA in place to support other Confederations and their members outside Europe, played a key role in providing the significant funding needed for the Home of Football.

“We are truly delighted to have supported the OFC Home of Football project over the last few years and look forward to visiting the new premises when travel restrictions are lifted,” Eva Pasquier said, Head of International Relations at UEFA,

“The Oceania Member Associations now have a new home where they can meet, discuss and further develop football across the entire region, and this would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the entire OFC team.

“We congratulate them on this fantastic achievement.”

The former home of OFC at Mt Smart Stadium will be repurposed as a high-performance academy for the region.

The completion of the project will be marked with a formal inauguration by the end of June 2022 – if travel restrictions allow for the attendance of FIFA, UEFA and OFC Member Associations.

Mulgoa Rise Playing Fields expand with Stage 2 of development

Glenmore Park FC

Glenmore Park FC have seen the club amenity building of their home ground, Mulgoa Rise Playing Fields, expanded as part of Stage 2 development at the park.

Known to the locals as “The Nest”, Mulgoa Rise Playing Fields houses the side which is the largest club in the Nepean Football Association, with 1,196 registered participants recorded in the 2021 winter season.

In the shortened 2021 winter campaign, almost 7,800 Penrith LGA residents participated in football.

Active Kids Voucher redemption in the Penrith LGA also emphasised the popularity of football in the area, with over 5,000 children claiming the Active Kids Voucher in 2021 – making it the largest sport in the Penrith LGA.

Stage 2 of the development included the addition of two more change rooms to service the three full size fields at The Nest.

Extra toilets, further landscaping throughout the site and the expansion of the club’s BBQ facility are featured in the recent works.

Football NSW’s Manager Government Relations, Funding and Infrastructure – Daniel Ristic:

“BBQ facilities are a vital aspect of any community club. Canteen and BBQ revenue provides much needed funding for local grassroots clubs.

“A key objective from the NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy over the next 10 years is to increase and improve gender neutral player and match official change room provision.”

Penrith City Council were successful in gaining the majority of the funding ($649,600) from the NSW Government’s Greater Sydney Sport Facility Fund.

The NSW Government Community Building Partnership program provided $20,000, as well as Glenmore Park FC contributing $3,000 to the upgrades.

Penrith City Council has been identified as one of the top 10 NSW LGA future demand hot spots in the next 10 years. The Council is predicted to experience population growth of approximately 60,000 in the next 10 years.

With the current 3.8% state average participation rate applied, the Penrith area is expected to see an additional 2,300 participants between 2021 and 2031.

The increase in participation will require upgraded and renewed facilities across Penrith to ensure the city can cope with the upcoming demand for football.

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