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Football NSW announce funding for community ground lighting

On Wednesday this week, Football NSW released a statement declaring that they had received $300,000 that will go towards upgrading lighting fixtures for community clubs across the state.

This is a wonderful move by Football NSW, continuing to give to the community as they know they are their most important stakeholders. Their ‘Let’s Light Up Football’ campaign has now received over half a million dollars over the last year and a half.

The full press release can be found below:

Football NSW is delighted to announce the recipients of the second year of its highly successful ‘Let’s Light Up Football’ Campaign with 17 clubs/council’s being recently selected to receive funding.

Year Two of the Let’s Light Up Football Campaign has seen another $300,000 from the Community Investment Fund spread across NSW to provide much needed lighting upgrades for community football clubs across the state. The key objective of this Campaign is to incentivise a joint funding approach whereby matching contributions from a club and/or association is combined with local council support.

Together with projects supported in 2018, the Let’s Light Up Football campaign has now seen a total of $600,000 invested by football resulting in a further $5.8 million by clubs, associations and local councils. The key outcome is that over the first two years, 34 football fields in NSW will now be lit as a result of this campaign.

Football NSW CEO, Stuart Hodge commented, “Football NSW is thrilled to once again provide much needed funding to football clubs across NSW”.

“Improving field lighting is a fantastic opportunity for councils and clubs to increase the capacity of fields in a time when green space is scarce – none more so than in many of our associations in metropolitan Sydney”.

The recent NSW State-wide Facilities Audit revealed that lighting is a major concern across the state with 32% of fields not having lighting. For a sport predominantly played in the winter months lighting is a crucial element of any football facility allowing more hours for training and playing”.

“Lighting is a simple and effective way to improve a large number of community facilities for football”.

“The Fund was oversubscribed which again clearly demonstrates the need to light football fields across the state. Clubs are bursting at the seams and in some cases, there are multiple senior teams training on one full sized football field simply because there are not enough fields with lighting in their local area” further added Mr Hodge.

Fourteen grounds from metropolitan Sydney will be the beneficiaries of upgraded lighting with the remaining three projects, from as far south as Eurobodalla to as far west as Narromine, being from Regional NSW.

Successful applicants from the second year of the Let’s Light Up Football fund are as follows (alphabetical order):

The Community Investment Fund is a joint initiative of both Football NSW and Football Federation Australia (FFA) and is made possible by the FFA’s annual grant to Football NSW.

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Canterbury Bankstown Council waives field hire costs

The City of Canterbury Bankstown Council have opted to waive ground hire costs in an effort to support community clubs.

With the ongoing impact of extended COVID-19 enforced lockdowns on NSW, the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council have opted to waive ground hire costs in an effort to support community clubs.

For a second consecutive year, the Canterbury Bankstown Council have assisted both the Bankstown District Amateur Football Association and the Canterbury District Soccer Football Association Clubs who have been heavily affected by COVID.

The impact of COVID-19 has seen Football NSW forced into cancelling the remaining footballing NSW competitions seasons, with players, organisations and clubs state-wide left heavily impacted by the difficult situation.

As the state’s governing football body, Football NSW have hailed the move by the Canterbury Bankstown Council as a much needed and generous decision to aid community football in the area by reducing the financial burden created by the extended lockdown period.

Led by Mayor Khal Asfour, the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council opted to waive ground hire costs for sporting clubs and associations with seasonal bookings at Council managed sports grounds and facilities for the winter 2021 season.

Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge voiced his support for the supportive actions being taken by the Canterbury Bankstown Council.

“Well done to Canterbury Bankstown Council for pushing its support behind our code in what have been tough times for the sport,” he said

“Decisions and moves such as this from Canterbury Bankstown Council go a long way to assuring our clubs and players are well supported and will continue to provide a positive and significant benefit to the community.”

Both Bankstown District Football Association’s General Manager Leanne Millar and Canterbury District Soccer Football Association CEO Ian Homes were grateful with the backing of the Mayor, elected Councillors and Senior Management of the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council.

Football Australia meets with AAFC to discuss National Second Tier

Football Australia consulted with the Australian Association of Football Clubs (AAFC) last week to discuss modelling and other considerations for a National Second Tier.

The Thursday night meeting was attended virtually by representatives from Football Australia, including CEO James Johnson, as well AAFC Chairman Nick Galatas and representatives from member clubs.

Within the meeting, the commercial, financial, and modelling aspects of the competition were discussed.

A Football Australia spokesperson stated that the meeting was an opportunity for clubs to voice their opinions and views on certain questions posed by FA, and considerations for a National Second Tier directly to the peak body.

Football Australia held a meeting with the Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) and a number of representative clubs from around Australia on Thursday 26 August as part of a consultation to discuss the objectives and vision for a National Second Tier, commercial, financial and competition modelling considerations, the Domestic Match Calendar and access to and from a proposed National Second Tier,” a FA spokesperson said.

CEO, James Johnson and several other senior executives of Football Australia participated in the meeting and welcomed the opportunity to hear directly from the clubs on some of their views on these considerations and look forward to having further and more detailed discussions in the coming months as we move the conceptual discussions towards practical ones, and in turn the national second tier becoming a reality at the appropriate time.”

Galatas said the meeting was well received by the AAFC, and that it was held professionally and in good faith.

The next steps are firstly we will provide the material that Football Australia has requested, secondly we will finalise our report, and finally we will continue to liaise with Football Australia as they progress towards finalising their model,” he said.

The AAFC released the report in January as a framework for how they believe a second division could be structured, ran and implemented.

No timeline has been placed on the development of the competition by either Football Australia or the AAFC, according to Galatas.

“We didn’t think it was appropriate to press for a timeline, and instead work towards providing information for Football Australia to develop the right model,” he said.

“Getting it right in more important than imposing some sort of deadline. Clearly the intention that emerged from that meeting was that we now work as stakeholders to complete the tasks, so short term is better than long term but there is no specific timeline.”

Football Australia recently included a placeholder for a National Second Tier competition on its domestic match calendar.

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