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North Queensland Stadium nearing completion

A brand new stadium in Townsville is not far away with construction making scheduled progress en route to full completion.

This multi-purpose stadium is on track to be opened in 2020, with the final stages being done to ensure it’s up and running.

It’s a major project for the city of Townsville, with $250 million worth of funding to build it from the ground up and build a boutique 25,000 seat stadium.

The investment is sure to be worth it, with the venue designed to host different sporting codes, including the National Rugby League’s North Queensland Cowboys who are already going to be a home tenant.

The plan is to get the stadium ready in time for Round 1 of the NRL, and recently there’s been significant additions. 36 roof trusses have been lifted by cranes and looks to be one of the most distinctive features of the stadium.

The Pandanus plant-inspired roof is designed to withstand the extreme weather North Queensland can have and has been tested to see how it would fare with different wind-loads.

Once completed, this will be a facility which will have enormous benefits for the community. Increases in tourism and jobs will be created and will be a quality stadium to use for any World Cup or AFC competition bid.

It will be a venue that will be a valuable alternative in the Northern parts of Queensland, and is a ready-made option for not only international events but expansion in Australia for a second division and national championship.

After years of campaigning and bringing together the relevant funding, Queensland will have a new venue they can be proud of – North Queensland Stadium can be just that.

A opportunity has presented to capitalise on this new development and make another place that can cater for football and other sporting codes.

It presents as a world-class venue that will be a staple of North Queensland for many years to come. There will be a Sir Elton John Concert to officially open the stadium on February 29th 2020, before the North Queensland Cowboys play their first game there on March 13th next year.

Italian Serie A chooses new president

Italy’s top flight soccer league Serie A has named Paolo Dal Pino as their new president.

Dal Pino, who was Chief Executive of Telit Communications at the time he was elected, secured his new position in a comprehensive voting count.

According to the Associated Press, Dal Pino got 12 votes from the 20-team competition, one more than the 11 required to secure the role.

Despite being forced to resign from the president role in November, Gaetano Miccichè attracted seven votes, while a solitary ballet was left blank.

Miccichè did provide good competition, after an investigation about irregularities of how he was elected in 2018.

Since Miccichè’s resignation, Serie A has had Mario Cicala and Giancarlo Abete come in as emergency leaders.

The appointment of Dal Pino is hoped to steady the ship following some turbulent times for Serie A, as the league has made headlines for the wrong reasons.

Multiple incidents of racism have serviced this season which players point out and they had been widely condemned for their latest campaign to attempt to rectify the problems.

Serie A has also come under fire for its decision to take a second consecutive edition of its Super Cup competition to Saudi Arabia, with Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports warning that the league is risking UK£390 million (US$500 million) worth of overseas rights contracts with the company by doing so.

In addition, Serie A are needing to come up with a future strategy and final decision for their broadcast rights, continuing to stall over a decision on Spanish agency Mediapro’s idea to launch a dedicated league channel.

SA Premier Steven Marshall to offer football clubs bushfire relief grant

Football clubs in South Australia that have been affected by the recent bushfires will be able to apply for a special grant.

The State Government led by Premier Steven Marshall, will provide recovery assistance to South Australian communities that have been ravaged by the catastrophic bushfires.

Grants of up to $10,000 will be available for sporting clubs in need, to help the rebuilding process.

These payments will be available immediately and can be used for initiatives such as replacing destroyed equipment.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard claimed the grants are a vital source of help to organisations faced with the challenging task of cleaning up and rebuilding.

“These fires have been devastating for so many communities with lives, homes and livestock tragically lost,” the Minister said.

“Community facilities have also been affected with damage feared at up to 20 sporting clubs following both the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island fires.

In many communities across the State, these clubs play a much larger role than simply facilitating sporting events.

As a government we want to do everything we can to support these communities to help with the rebuilding process.

It will take time but we are committed to ensuring the process is as smooth and pain-free as possible and we are focused on making sure these sporting clubs can get back on their feet and continue to serve their broader communities.”

Any sporting association affected by the recent fires can apply for the grant at https://ORSR.smartygrants.com.au/Bushfire or call 1300 714 990.

Illawarra-Based Sides Join Forces in Bushfire Appeal

It’s been a rough few weeks for rural Australia, to be very blunt.

The bushfires ravaging the country have caught worldwide attention, with donations and help coming from far and wide.

Elton John, Chris Hemsworth, Gordon Ramsay, Russell Crowe and Leonardo Di Caprio are just some of the celebrities who have financially pledged for the cause.

In the cricket, various Big Bash League players including Matt Renshaw, Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell are donating for every wicket or six they hit in the tournament.

Brighton and Australian national team goalkeeper Maty Ryan is also making an effort from the other side of the world, as are various Australian-born players in the NBA including Ben Simmons, Dante Exum and Matthew Dellavedova.

The list of those who have donated is very extensive and it’ll only get longer, which is fantastic, especially from those overseas.

One of the worst affected areas is in rural NSW, in and around the coastal area of Illawarra, a region of NSW that holds over 300,000 people and the metropolitan city of Wollongong.

In response to the horrific events that have dominated the headlines, Football NSW have joined forces with the NRL and NBL in hosting a round of golf featuring players from various codes.

Despite being a much smaller city than the likes of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Wollongong is a very competitive sporting city. The Illawarra Hawks compete in the NBL and the St. George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL.

NPL NSW side Wollongong Wolves, who recently won the National Championship against Queensland-based side Lions FC, will also partake in the charity golf game.

Illawarra Hawks guard LaMelo Ball, who has taken the league by storm in the few games he’s played, also donated a substantial amount at a time when the fires were still in their initial stages.

It will be an 18-hole game with every hole available to be sponsored for $1000.

It has been truly amazing to see the support received from across the globe in response to these bushfires. As a country, we always help our fellow man or woman when they’re in a sticky situation. It’s in our nature.

But sometimes, we need a helping hand and we’ve received a lot of those.

The fight is far from over, with blazes raging across the country at the writing of this article.

But with fundraisers such as this, combined with the selfless donations from millions, we’ll be on the road back to normalcy before we know it.

The full press release from NPLNSW that came out last Wednesday can be found below:

The Wollongong Wolves, St George Ilawarra Dragons and Illawarra Hawks have joined forces to announce a first of its kind Illawarra combined codes bushfire appeal golf day.

Players and coaches from the Dragons, Hawks and Wolves will convene on Monday, February 3 at Wollongong Golf Club to help raise funds for the NSW Rural Fire Service, Salvation Army Disaster Relief Appeal and Australian Wildlife Rescue (WIRES) following the recent bushfires that have devastated Australian communities.

Entry for a four-man Ambrose team is $2000 and includes an afternoon of golf, cart hire, food and beverage package as well as a post-presentation event and the chance to mingle with all your favourite players across the three different codes that represent the Illawarra.
Each of the 18 holes are also available to be sponsored at a cost of $1000.

Spots for the day are extremely limited, with all queries and purchases available by emailing partnerships@dragons.com.au or partnerships@hawks.com.au.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor hailed the bushfire appeal golf day as a unique and significant opportunity to raise funds for several special causes.

“The codes combined bushfire appeal golf day is one of several causes the Dragons have chosen to back in response to the horrific fires that have overwhelmed the country,” McGregor said.

“The chance to see your favourite players across Illawarra’s three main codes on the one day is an opportunity that cannot be missed, all in name of a very good cause.”

Wolves coach and former Socceroo Luke Wilkshire echoed his fellow coach’s sentiments regarding the recent bushfire devastation.
“As far as sport in the Illawarra region goes, it is great that we can support each other and work collectively,” Wilkshire said.

“To showcase a strong, positive message by bringing our different sporting identities together as one for a great cause is very important.”
Hawks coach Matt Flinn gave a personal affirmation to the bushfire appeal golf day.

“This is an exciting event that all three sporting clubs are collaborating on,” Flinn said.

“I’ve been personally affected, with family members caught up in the bushfires, as have many of our members and supporters within the south coast region, so this is a way in which we can help unite our community and raise funds for a terrific cause.”

 

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