La Trobe University set to open The Home of the Matildas in mid-2023

Home of Matildas

Construction of The Home of the Matildas at La Trobe University Sports Park is on track to be finished the middle of this year, with the opening coming just before the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Part of a $101 million investment by the Andrews Labor Government into the university’s sporting facility, the build is the largest of its kind in the country’s history, as well as marking the biggest investment ever made by an Australian government into a football-specific project.

The Matildas will be the first to play in the brand-new facility ahead of their send-off fixture at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on July 14, before their World Cup journey officially gets underway. It will also play host to the Jamaican Women’s National Football Team during the World Cup. Following the tournament, the training amenities and world-class fields – which will include FIFA-standard hybrid and FIFA-standard synthetic pitches – will be utilised by Australia’s national teams in their preparation for future tournaments.

As part of the venue’s designation as the State Football Centre, the facilities will eventually transform into the home base for the state’s major football programs. The showpiece-pitch, with an 800-seat capacity, will be available to host significant football fixtures – a large portion of the project’s budget was indeed aimed at building facilities that are accessible to the football community.

Football Victoria is set to relocate their offices to the state-of-the-art precinct, with the aim of bringing together the football itself and the administrative operations behind the game. As part of the plan, the organisation are also in talks with La Trobe University to further their partnership through education, leadership, sports science and high-performance collaborations.

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson highlighted the excitement behind the project stating via press release:

“This substantial commitment from the Victorian Government, combined with the Federal Government’s earlier $15 million contribution to the project, will have a profound impact on the development and growth of women and girls’ football, and football overall, in Victoria and Australia for decades to come as part of our bold and ambitious Legacy ’23 Plan.”

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar AO, also emphasised the anticipation of the major development via press release:

“I’m thrilled to see such exciting progress on these exceptional sporting facilities at La Trobe University, which will offer huge benefit for our students, for sports science research and for the elite athletes and community members who use them.”

CommBank Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson further explained the significance of the facilities, adding in a statement:

“All those little details that matter in a high performance environment, they’ve thought about it all. I’m really impressed.”

With anticipation building by the day for the Matildas at the World Cup, the positive impact of opening a facility of this scale is immense, for not just the development of Australia’s future national team players but also to show support for local footballing communities and grassroots clubs. With the country still buzzing from the Socceroos success in Qatar, football is at a high talking point throughout Australia, providing the perfect springboard for putting development plans into action.

Notably, female football players, who continue to be grossly outnumbered by men in the sport, can look to The Home of the Matildas to see a proactive and successful effort by football bodies and governments to generate funding, provide training facilities and set the women’s game up for success.

Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

The biggest Female Football Week to date draws to a close

Female Football week is at its climax across the country with each respective state firmly involved in what has been a monumental year of growth and perseverance with one of the hottest topics amongst the sporting plethora across the nation.

Symbolising the significant strides in which female football has made down under, off the back of its maiden World Cup hosting tenure.

Football Queensland throughout the grand occasion were busy shining a spotlight upon the continuous growth of participation, encouraging women of all ages to become involved and immersed within the global game.

Football Victoria – Commentary

Football Victoria (FV) celebrated women’s football week in style.

Round 8 of the National Premier League Women’s (NPLW) competition within Victoria was unique throughout its coverage, with every match throughout the round featuring a female commentator.

A monumental feat spearheaded by the FV Commentary team, this was the first time an all female commentary round was executed.

Football Queensland

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci disclosed his appreciation for the momentous occasion via the FQ website.

“While celebrations like FFW serve as a crucial milestone in FQ’s journey towards achieving 50/50 gender parity by 2027 and helps to further reinforce our commitment to enhancing accessibility and inclusivity, our support is not confined to this week, as we remain dedicated to prioritising our female football community year-round.”

Football Queensland – Award Ceremony

Paying homage to Referees, Club Volunteers, Players and Community Champions of the year was conducted through awards up for grabs.

FQ showcased an award ceremony towards multiple facets of football throughout the state.

A nice incentive dedicated to the recognition and appraisal of the hard work undertaken by different areas of football.

The Female Football Week club of the year was awarded to Central Football Club following their extraordinary contribution to female football within Queensland.

Displayed throughout the clubs commitment to female football, the club are fully dedicated to the advancement of women’s football.

Harvesting a fostering environment throughout the club, alongside the nourishment of young promising female footballers has been symbolised by FQ.

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