Football Australia confirms Legacy ’23 Final XI with addition of Tony Armstrong

Tony Armstrong

Football Australia has unveiled the final ambassador to join the Legacy ’23 line-up, welcoming ABC News Breakfast Sports Presenter and former professional athlete, Tony Armstrong.

A proud Gamilaroi man, Tony Armstrong was born in Paddington, Sydney before moving to country NSW. He has been inspired throughout his childhood by amazing role models from within this diverse community, including his mother, whose encouragement and unwavering support was pivotal in him achieving his goals both on and off the sporting field.

Armstrong hopes that in his role as a Football Australia Legacy ’23 Ambassador, he can leverage what he has learnt from his own lived experiences and empower the next generation to have the confidence to stand for what they believe in, go after their own goals, and help shape the future of football in Australia.

Of the opportunity to be involved with Legacy ’23, Armstrong said in a statement:

“I’ve always been a football fan throughout my life, so when I had the opportunity to become a Legacy ’23 Ambassador I was humbled. The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM is going to be a moment in time that we always look back on, where we took the game to the next level and built the foundations for the next generation of women and girls, and boys, to come together and move forward.”

“I was very lucky to have access to high-performance facilities and coaches early on in my career, so I know how important it is to have clear pathways and infrastructure to support the growth of our game. Coming from a diverse background myself, sport was always a way in, and we are now seeing this transition to the women’s game, with more young girls looking to sport as a career, not just as a player but through media and administration roles as well.”

Football Australia CEO James Johnson added via press release:

“We are so excited to have such a genuine and passionate advocate for our game in Tony Armstrong to join as our eleventh and final Football Australia Legacy ’23 ambassador. Tony represents everything that is great about football – from the drive, passion, and humility to his commitment to high performance, diversity, and inclusion.”

“With authentic voices like Tony amongst our influential Legacy ’23 ambassadors, we have a wonderful opportunity to drive meaningful change and create a legacy for our sport and community, which endures long after Australia has hosted one of the largest sporting events in the world,” Johnson said.

Previously announced Football Australia Legacy ’23 ambassadors making up the Final XI include:

  • The Hon. Julie Bishop, Chancellor of Australian National University
  • Elizabeth Broderick AO, Special Rapporteur and Independent Expert to the United Nations
  • Julie Dolan AM, Matildas cap #1
  • Kurt Fearnley AO, Paralympic champion
  • Phillipa Harrison, Managing Director of Tourism Australia
  • Azmeena Hussain OAM, Director Football Victoria and social justice advocate
  • Narelda Jacobs, NIAG Member and Network 10 Presenter
  • Kate Jenkins, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner
  • Awer Mabil, Subway Socceroo
  • The Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Queensland State Premier

The Legacy ’23 Plan, developed by Football Australia, will ensure Australia can realise the long-term benefits of hosting this prestigious global sporting event can have on every community across the country. From economic, social, physical, and mental health benefits to its promotion of social cohesion and multicultural inclusion, Legacy ’23 will introduce new and expand existing programs to ensure the future of football in Australia is stronger than ever before.

The programs will aim to increase participation, improve community facilities, optimise high-performance offerings, drive leadership and development of the sport as well as encourage local and international tourism as Australia and New Zealand recover from the global pandemic.

As the world’s biggest women’s sporting event, it is expected that over a billion people across the world will tune in to watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.

Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

The biggest Female Football Week to date draws to a close

Female Football week is at its climax across the country with each respective state firmly involved in what has been a monumental year of growth and perseverance with one of the hottest topics amongst the sporting plethora across the nation.

Symbolising the significant strides in which female football has made down under, off the back of its maiden World Cup hosting tenure.

Football Queensland throughout the grand occasion were busy shining a spotlight upon the continuous growth of participation, encouraging women of all ages to become involved and immersed within the global game.

Football Victoria – Commentary

Football Victoria (FV) celebrated women’s football week in style.

Round 8 of the National Premier League Women’s (NPLW) competition within Victoria was unique throughout its coverage, with every match throughout the round featuring a female commentator.

A monumental feat spearheaded by the FV Commentary team, this was the first time an all female commentary round was executed.

Football Queensland

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci disclosed his appreciation for the momentous occasion via the FQ website.

“While celebrations like FFW serve as a crucial milestone in FQ’s journey towards achieving 50/50 gender parity by 2027 and helps to further reinforce our commitment to enhancing accessibility and inclusivity, our support is not confined to this week, as we remain dedicated to prioritising our female football community year-round.”

Football Queensland – Award Ceremony

Paying homage to Referees, Club Volunteers, Players and Community Champions of the year was conducted through awards up for grabs.

FQ showcased an award ceremony towards multiple facets of football throughout the state.

A nice incentive dedicated to the recognition and appraisal of the hard work undertaken by different areas of football.

The Female Football Week club of the year was awarded to Central Football Club following their extraordinary contribution to female football within Queensland.

Displayed throughout the clubs commitment to female football, the club are fully dedicated to the advancement of women’s football.

Harvesting a fostering environment throughout the club, alongside the nourishment of young promising female footballers has been symbolised by FQ.

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