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.

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

Football Victoria encourages state teams to take part in Governance Workshop Series

Football Victoria are endorsing the joint partnership between the Victorian Government and VicSport, as football clubs across the state can become involved within the participation of case studies – dedicated to the understanding and importance of governance within sport.

Three workshops will eventuate over the course of May, June and July. Industry experts, sport directors and operating officials will all be in attendance at each workshop, discussing their insight upon the plethora of information they possess in correlation to Board Policy & Procedure (completed April 3), Risk Management (TBC in May), Sports Integrity (June 6) and Diversity & Inclusion (TBC in July).

VicSport are a Victorian non-for-profit organisation dedicated to attract as many Victorians as possible in participation and engagement across a variety of sports and/or physical activity.

Working in conjunction with the Victorian Government, it is their duty to ensure that recreation within the state remains at its optimal level.

Advocating, assisting and supporting its members since its inception in 1994, their extensive network branched out to over 3.9 million participants.

Football within Victoria has quite the pulse. Engagement levels are high within the amount of participants across all abilities and genders.

Knowing the importance of governance is fundamental for emerging and present clubs, hence the importance surrounding the FV in urging club officials in attending these various workshops.

Football Victoria have made continuous strides in becoming more accessible and engaging to potential participants. All-abilities April is a symbol of the inclusivity in which the state has made across the last decade.

Governance within sport is crucial. It covers a magnitude of aspects all required to be considered when operating an entity. Given the vast amount of contributors governance is essential for the promotion of accountability, sustainability and stability for a football club.

The success garnered on the park must be achieved off of it through a harmonious collective.

For up-to-date information, you can view it via VicSport here.

Football Queensland’s two-year referee strategy to drive development and retention

Football Queensland (FQ) are embarking on a transformative journey.

Seeking to elevate the current refereeing regime on a state-wide level is a high-priority within their objectives. The Referee Strategy plan will run from 2024 until 2026, where the current framework of officials officiating within Queensland looks to be recrafted.

Referees are the unsung heroes of any sport, especially football. The decisions they make as a collective can have historical ramifications. They are ultimately tasked with making correct decisions, while under the microscope of the entire footballing audience, governing bodies and participants all watching attentively on to hear of what the decision may be, which ultimately impacts their respective teams.

The constant pressure, scrutiny and tension they are under does not go unnoticed, nor should their presence. Referring on a global scale is a tedious aspect of sport. It is simple to attract people that are keen to participate within a sport on a playing level. In an officiating role, it is a whole different kettle of fish.

The Strategic Pillars 
The priority placed upon the recruitment and retainment of officials is a focal point of the FQ referee strategy. Unification of their already established referee base is crucial. Their primary objectives include:

3600 FQ Registered Referees across all formatted of football within Queensland.

50/50 Parity: Resulting in FQ wishing to foster 1250 more female referees.

Queensland founded referees to be represented on a global scale.

Developing pathways for educators, referees and match day officials.

With all of those objectives in mind. To execute such a tall order is achievable all through the basis of a solid foundation. The “Strategic Pillars” assorted to accumulate 3,600 referees by the year 2026 include the following stages. 

Pillar #1: Recruitment and Outreach
The re-imagination of talent recruitment, combined with diversification and expansion all are at the forefront of the strategies initial phase.

Pillar #2: Pathways and Opportunities 

Creating a community that thrives upon the continuous growth of refereeing through the establishment of a unified culture, spearheaded by the passion involved for the game and officiating.

Pillar #3: Retention and Engagement

The pressures involved within the occupation can deter potential participants or current officials for wanting to exercise their skillset within the field. The third phase within the pillars involves support directed towards the wellbeing of officials. Ensuring that they are recognized, celebrated, supported and encouraged.

Pillar #4: Training and Development

The fourth and final phase is equally as important as the previous three. The creation of cohesion amongst a community is of great importance. Looking to gain participants through revolutionary training activities in which showcase the intense art form of officiating in an engaging manner, while improving and establishing skills.
There are currently over 2000 registered referees within FQ.

They are attempting to increase their refereeing basis by 425 participants, compounding each year until 2026 while striving to double their current female referee basis.

As a footnote to Australia’s presence on a global perspective within the football world, we remain a nation in that possesses immense interest in the sport, yet haven’t found their strides in translating that passion into becoming a top-level contending country upon the football pitch on the international scale.

It was Queensland’s very own Jarred Gillet who pathed the pathway in which Australian referees should look to charter. From officiating some of the A-leagues all-time greatest clashes to becoming a primary referee within the Premier League all over the span of 11 years.

It’s a feat in which FQ will strive for within this new strategy plan. All for the benefit of football within the state of Queensland, and most importantly, for Australia.

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