Golden Plains to receive additional $465,000 grant for facilities upgrade

The Golden Plains Shire Council will receive an additional $465,535 from the State Government to develop its football facilities at the Bannockburn Recreation Reserve.

The grant is part of The World Game Facilities Fund and will add to the Federal Government’s $832,000 commitment, meaning the overall funding for the project will reach in excess of $1.29 million.

The Golden Plains Soccer Club will be the beneficiaries of the funding, which will be used to construct two new female friendly change rooms, a referee’s change room, first aid room, 100 lux sports pitch lights, perimeter fencing, and storage services for the recently constructed second soccer pitch at the venue.

Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney, made the announcement and highlighted the importance of modernising facilities to cater for rising demand.

“Football is booming in Victoria and we’re expecting growing numbers of boys and girls, men and women to sign up to play at local clubs, however many clubs are struggling with inadequate facilities,” Tierney said.

The Golden Plains Soccer Club is located 23km from Geelong, Victoria and has experienced a steady growth in participation rates, particularly among women and girls in the region.

“The Victorian Government’s World Game Facilities Fund is getting it done for the Golden Plains Soccer Club, providing more opportunities for passionate football fans to play the sport they love,” Tierney said.

Bannockburn Recreational Reserve has already experienced several upgrades over recent years with more than $3 million in funding helping to transform the venue into a leading regional football facility.

Golden Plains Shire Mayor Owen Sharkey was also pleased by the government’s willingness to invest in the region, stating it was a major boost those already playing the sport and also those wishing to get involved.

“The Golden Plains Soccer Club has an enthusiastic membership of male and female junior and senior players from many towns in the south of our shire, and the new change rooms and lights will further support participation in soccer in Golden Plains,” Cr Sharkey said.

Oceania Football Confederation has a new Home of Football

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Home of Football has been completed – based in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Home of Football has been completed – based in Auckland, New Zealand.

The complex, which has been gifted the Māori name Te Kahu o Kiwa, is predominantly an administration space. The building also features two artificial pitches and dressing rooms that are capable of hosting elite matches.

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo believes the complex will play a crucial part in the confederation’s goal of seeing two Oceania nations competing at the FIFA World Cup 2026 and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027.

“Receiving the resource consents and watching this project come to life has been one of my highlights at OFC,” Castillo said.

“We’ve been based in Penrose for many years and to finally complete this project is a relief.

“It’s going to be a refreshing change for us all and from an organisational standpoint Te Kahu o Kiwa will house many opportunities to develop players, coaches, officials and administrations across the region.”

FIFA has been a major contributor to the project, expressing their delight at seeing a finished project for the OFC and its Member Associations.

As the major contributor to the project, FIFA said it is pleased to see the completion of an attractive, modern and welcoming Home of Football for the OFC and its Member Associations.

“We give credence to the value added of the OFC, who have achieved this key milestone, for its staff and the region,” Sanjeevan Balasingam said, FIFA’s Director of Member Associations Asia and Oceania.

“What makes this project special is the design of the building and its spaces, where people can work, meet and talk, all for the betterment of football.

“The facility underlines one of OFC’s key objectives of being a modern and progressive organisation, firmly focused on the future.”

UEFA Assist, a development arm of UEFA in place to support other Confederations and their members outside Europe, played a key role in providing the significant funding needed for the Home of Football.

“We are truly delighted to have supported the OFC Home of Football project over the last few years and look forward to visiting the new premises when travel restrictions are lifted,” Eva Pasquier said, Head of International Relations at UEFA,

“The Oceania Member Associations now have a new home where they can meet, discuss and further develop football across the entire region, and this would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the entire OFC team.

“We congratulate them on this fantastic achievement.”

The former home of OFC at Mt Smart Stadium will be repurposed as a high-performance academy for the region.

The completion of the project will be marked with a formal inauguration by the end of June 2022 – if travel restrictions allow for the attendance of FIFA, UEFA and OFC Member Associations.

Mulgoa Rise Playing Fields expand with Stage 2 of development

Glenmore Park FC

Glenmore Park FC have seen the club amenity building of their home ground, Mulgoa Rise Playing Fields, expanded as part of Stage 2 development at the park.

Known to the locals as “The Nest”, Mulgoa Rise Playing Fields houses the side which is the largest club in the Nepean Football Association, with 1,196 registered participants recorded in the 2021 winter season.

In the shortened 2021 winter campaign, almost 7,800 Penrith LGA residents participated in football.

Active Kids Voucher redemption in the Penrith LGA also emphasised the popularity of football in the area, with over 5,000 children claiming the Active Kids Voucher in 2021 – making it the largest sport in the Penrith LGA.

Stage 2 of the development included the addition of two more change rooms to service the three full size fields at The Nest.

Extra toilets, further landscaping throughout the site and the expansion of the club’s BBQ facility are featured in the recent works.

Football NSW’s Manager Government Relations, Funding and Infrastructure – Daniel Ristic:

“BBQ facilities are a vital aspect of any community club. Canteen and BBQ revenue provides much needed funding for local grassroots clubs.

“A key objective from the NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy over the next 10 years is to increase and improve gender neutral player and match official change room provision.”

Penrith City Council were successful in gaining the majority of the funding ($649,600) from the NSW Government’s Greater Sydney Sport Facility Fund.

The NSW Government Community Building Partnership program provided $20,000, as well as Glenmore Park FC contributing $3,000 to the upgrades.

Penrith City Council has been identified as one of the top 10 NSW LGA future demand hot spots in the next 10 years. The Council is predicted to experience population growth of approximately 60,000 in the next 10 years.

With the current 3.8% state average participation rate applied, the Penrith area is expected to see an additional 2,300 participants between 2021 and 2031.

The increase in participation will require upgraded and renewed facilities across Penrith to ensure the city can cope with the upcoming demand for football.

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