Football Tasmania has welcomed an increase in annual operational funding from the state government.
The funding will put football’s share of the pie on par with other major sports in the state, including cricket and Australian rules.
The figure is reported to be $500,000 per year.
“On behalf of the entire football community I would like to thank the Government for recognising the benefits the world game brings to Tasmania and giving football a fair go,” FT CEO Matt Bulkeley said.
“Official Sport Australia statistics show close to 40,000 Tasmanians play football each year, and EMRS polling reveals one-in-five Tasmanian households are directly involved in the world game.
“As Tasmania’s most played team sport, it’s great to see football receive a fairer level of government funding in line with other major codes.
“Football has always been an important part of the community, but what we’ve seen in recent years is an explosion in participation numbers, putting us at a disadvantage compared to other sports when it comes to providing everything our large player base needs.
“This funding will put us in a better position to make sure anyone who wants to play football can play, increasing opportunities for Tasmanians to enjoy a healthy and connected life through sport.”
Mr Bulkeley explained that the funding announcement has come at an exciting stage for football in Tasmania, with the possibility of training camps and matches to be held in Launceston for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
“Women’s football has a strong history in Tasmania, and thanks to the hard work of so many dedicated individuals across the state, continues to thrive,” he said.
“Being able to put our best foot forward as we prepare for having elite football on our shores will help us maximise the legacy benefit an event like the World Cup could bring to Tasmania, especially for women and girls.
“Ultimately, this will assist Football Tasmania to reach our long-term goal of achieving a fifty-fifty participation split between male and female players and complete gender equality in football, cementing the world game’s place as Tasmania’s game.”