Football Victoria’s Karen Pearce: “The reality of record ticket sales allows us to break the social and cultural barriers”

Karen Pearce

Football Victoria recently held their Community in Business (CIB) event which saw women’s football and the World Cup as topics of discussion from representatives in the game.

The latest edition of the state’s burgeoning football industry provided an opportunity for Karen Pearce, Executive Manager of Growth and Inclusion at Football Victoria, to speak about the social and cultural barriers of co-hosting the upcoming World Cup, mentioning the generous support from the Victorian Government, as well as everyone else involved for providing and contributing to the opening of the Home of the Matildas facility.

The Home of Matildas at La Trobe University serves as a major step for growth in football in the country.

“We remain indebted to the Victorian Government for their generous contribution to making this vision a reality, the Federal Government, Latrobe University, Football Australia and all the individuals involved for allowing us to provide such an incredible facility for all of us to enjoy,” Karen Pearce said.

“This state-of-the-art precinct will change perceptions and accelerate profile and development for women’s and girl’s football by welcoming, inspiring and enabling our women and girls to know that they are strong, capable, worthy, determined and resilient are traits that can lead them to pursue any dream they aspire to.

“Less than two weeks until the Women’s World Cup where a record 32 qualified nations will compete for glory, where the reality of record ticket sales allows us to break the social and cultural barriers, where the worlds best teams will showcase their athleticism, grit and determination to strive to become the number one in the world, where the eyes of the world will be firmly focused on what playing like a girl does mean.”

Football Victoria still maintains the lofty goal of achieving 50/50 gender balance by 2027. Pearce praised the clubs who are doing their bit to make this possible.

“To our clubs who are tackling entrenched inequality through programs such as Change Makers and Club Changer and committed to creating a new norm, we thank you,” she said.

“The Women’s World Cup celebrates the power of women and that equity is not just a dream, but normalising it can be a reality.”

Football Australia Chairman Chris Nikou was the main who back in 2018 decided that this country is worthy of launching a bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. As a CIB guest, Nikou quickly spoke about what happens to Victorian and Australian football and if the Matildas do go all the way and win the competition.

“We have had great progress in the infrastructure but there’s more to be done – we really need to ride the wave from a physical infrastructure and participation perspective,” he said.

“There are opportunities for everyone, boys and girls, men and women, and all aspects whether it’s an administrator, player, coach or whatever you desire to do, we need to create pathways for people to achieve those outcomes.”

The Matildas commence their campaign on the opening day of the tournament, July 20, at Stadium Australia commencing 8pm.

The 2023-24 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund to cater for participation boom

2023-24 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund

The Victorian Government’s 2023-24 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund is a state-wide investment, open until December 13, 2023.

This fund was created to adapt to the increasing need for infrastructure that is required for regular active sport and recreation.

Utilising three streams, sports clubs, facility managers and community organisations will all benefit from the following grants:

  • Community Facilities – up to $300,000
  • Community Sports Lighting – up to $250,000
  • Planning – up to $40,000

Led by Minister for Community Sport, Ros Spence, the creation of infrastructure will be made possible by planners, architects, engineers, project managers,
builders, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, facility managers and operational staff as part on the construction process. In turn, this has a direct link back to the local economy and offers hundreds of jobs.

For sporting & recreation clubs, sporting associations & leagues, educational institutions, not-for-profit community organisations, businesses and individuals looking to apply for the Local Sports Infrastructure Fund, an important note is that they cannot do so directly. Instead, they will coordinate this with Local Government Authorities and the Alpine Resorts Victoria who will apply on their behalf.

Applications close at 5pm on Wednesday December 13 2023 – with successful candidates of the 2023-24 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund announced from April 2024.

For full information and resources, you can view those here.

Football Queensland remain with Kappa for five more seasons until 2028

Football Queensland & Kappa partnership extension

Football Queensland have announced a five-year partnership extension with iconic international sports brand Kappa as its official apparel partner from 2024.

This relationship between the two parties has been very strong since they first partnered all the way back in 2017 and reinforces the support for football in Queensland that the brand has had.

Kappa has provided quality garments for some of Europe’s biggest clubs including Manchester City, Juventus, AC Milan and the Italian National team.

It’s a brand that was established in 1916 in Turin and eventually in 1978 they rebranded themselves to branch out as a sportwear brand where they focused purely on football-related products and designs.

For Football Queensland, they currently produce and provide quality on and off-field apparel for all Queensland State Representative teams including the state’s futsal representative squads. Kappa also provide on-field apparel for the game’s referees on the FQ website.

They also helped sponsor and start up the Kappa Women’s Super Cup and Kappa Pro Series tournaments that debuted in late 2021 and 2022 respectively for clubs to participate in across the state.

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci was extremely pleased to announce this partnership extension following Kappa’s amazing support.

“Football Queensland is incredibly excited to announce Kappa as our official apparel partner for the next five years following a competitive tender process which saw us receive 20 expressions of interest and 15 submissions of an extremely high quality,” Cavallucci said via Football Queensland press release.

“In their seven years as a Football Queensland partner, Kappa has provided fantastic support to Football Queensland, our clubs and the wider football community thanks to their quality of apparel, ability to deliver on their promises and the team’s unwavering commitment to customer service.

“We’ve built a wonderful working relationship with the team at Kappa thanks to their willingness to go above and beyond to deliver outcomes for our organisation and our game, and we’re delighted to continue working in partnership with them from next year.”

Kappa Australia Director Ze’ev Bogaty shared the same sentiment for the great relationship the two parties have created.

“Kappa is a strong supporter of football in Queensland and has been proud to invest in the game since the partnership with Football Queensland began in 2017,” Bogaty mentioned in the FQ press release.

“Some highlights of the partnership have included the development of the teal shirt for first year referees, witnessing Queensland state sides dominate on the national stage in Kappa kit, and the launch of the Kappa Women’s Super Cup and Kappa Pro Series tournaments.

“As we embark on another five years as the state’s official apparel partner and continue our close working relationship with Football Queensland, we look forward to contributing even more to the growth and success of football across the state.”

There is a shared goal of improving the grassroots game in Queensland from both parties and the track record of Kappa’s immense investment over the past seven years has shown that this extension will do wonders for Queensland football.

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