Two fields that reside in the Macarthur Football Association (MFA) are getting an overhaul with a contribution of funds from the NSW Football Legacy Fund (NFLF) and Campbelltown City Council.
The NFLF’s goals are to enhance football facilities and support infrastructure, expand participation opportunities, and foster better pathways for female players.
Ruse FC and Eschol Park are the beneficiaries of brand-new drainage systems, which will be able to handle more and more participants in the game over time.
Campbelltown City Council secured $290,400 (split between 2 grants) in funding to bring in comprehensive sand slit drainage systems at Jackson Park and Eschol Park. This development is in response to the 2022 winter season which wiped out some training and competing time for football teams.
Football NSW’s Legacy Fund Grant and Facilities Officer, James Spanoudakis, said via press release:
“Drainage is a key issue across NSW, our facility audit data showing that almost half of all fields do not have a drainage system installed,” he said.
“Good drainage is a key requirement of a well-maintained grass field and will greatly assist in reducing the number of washed-out training and competition days for males and females of all ages.”
Eschol Park FC is the fourth largest football club in the MFA, with 941 registered participants in 2023. The club has seen a 22% increase in participants in just 12 months.
Female participation at Eschol Park has jumped by 13% over the last 12 months, linked with the countdown towards the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
To meet the rising demand from a home World Cup, Football NSW has implemented an infrastructure strategy that supports NSW clubs during the tournament hype.
Campbelltown City Council’s funding aligns with Football NSW’s Infrastructure Pillar of “improving existing venue capacity.” The project will help sustain participation during adverse weather or peak times of the year.
About the Legacy Fund Participation and Infrastructure Grants
The NSW Government recently announced a $3.1 million investment into more than 100 grassroots football projects across the state to help improve facilities and run programs to boost player participation as part of the NSW Football Legacy Fund.
The investment is intended to broaden female player options and increase participation opportunities, whilst enhancing football facilities and supporting infrastructure. This fund also aims to assist clubs in developing football programs at all levels through the construction or upgrading of community facilities, leadership, and development initiatives.
As Australia prepares to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, strengthening the football community in NSW is key to matching the unprecedented level of interest in female football. The NSW Football Legacy Fund seeks to ensure it has the facilities and programming to match the buzz that the FIFA World Cup is generating for Australia’s next generation of future Matildas.
More information about the NSW Football Legacy Fund is available here.