Manly Warringah Football Association’s Passmore Reserve will welcome sports lighting for the first time ever following an approval of installation by the Northern Beaches Local Planning Panel.
The ground, which is home to St Augustine’s College Football Club, will include eight brand new light poles that will cover three fields worth with light. The $250,000 project will ensure that evening training and competition matches are able to occur.
With approximately 7% of the Northern Beaches population being registered football participants, the Manly Warringah FA is the largest football association in NSW according to 2021 registration data.
However, in 2017, the Northern Beaches Sportsground Strategy identified a drastic shortfall in playing fields across the Northern Beaches – a massive obstacle in the way of the Manly Warringah Football Association’s 20,000 winter participants.
The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy, which is similar to the Northern Beaches Sportsground Strategy, identifies football as the largest sport in the state with insufficient infrastructure in place to cater for present and future demand.
Manly Warringah Football Association and Manly United CEO David Mason outlined the significant impact that the Passmore Reserve lighting would have on the region.
“The lighting at Passmore Reserve would allow an extra 20 hours of training per week on two and a half fields,’ he said.
“That equates to 50 hours of training hours for teams that are currently squeezing onto other pitches and putting further strain on council resources to maintain those overused fields.
“Additional training capacity at Passmore Reserve will take the pressure off other nearby fields, improving the quality of those sports fields.”
The challenge that not just Sydney but many football regions endure, is the need to meet the demand of the high participation rates in football. Whilst some existing venues have room to increase their participation capacity, many locations – particularly across Metropolitan Syden – are at maximum capacity.
Provision of sports lighting is an essential infrastructure requirement that will allow for football to build participation, whilst ensuring that football infrastructure is being used at its maximum capacity.
Passmore Reserve’s sports lighting upgrades are due to be completed prior to the 2022 winter season.