Football Victoria has announced that the Victorian Government will deliver more than $4.9 million in grants to 13 different projects as part of the World Game Facilities Fund.
The World Game Facilities Fund was launched in 2018 with the aim to help drive financial investment into grassroots and community football facilities. Since its inception, it has already contributed more than $9.9 million among 38 infrastructure projects.
Football Victoria CEO Peter Filopoulos was delighted with the State Government’s commitment to developing facilities, calling it a “major win for football”.
“This significant funding will immediately go towards the biggest problem we have in football – our lack of proper facilities to cater for the thousands of Victorians who want to play our sport,” he said.
“The Andrews Government has listened to the football community. They’ve shown a commitment that has turned into real action, the kind of which is going to deliver real outcomes for the people who participate in our sport.”
Kimon Taliadoros, Chairman of Football Victoria, echoed Filopoulos’ message and hailed the news as a great result for anybody involved in football across the state.
“When it comes to facility investment, our clubs have been crying out to us from day one and we promised to work with the Victorian Government to deliver the outcomes our sport needs. That’s what the World Game Facilities Fund is all about,” Taliadoros said.
“We are a long way from the finish line, but the commitments made are giving us a real chance of securing the extra 420 Full-Size Equivalent pitches we need by 2026 to meet the demands of the football community.”
This phase of the fund will provide grants of up to $500,000 to councils and alpine resort boards to improve facilities including lighting, turf pitch redevelopments, synthetic pitches, and female-friendly change rooms.
Among the projects backed by the 2019-20 round of the fund, $500,000 will go towards a new pavilion and pitch lighting at Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve. Once complete, the pavilion will feature female friendly change rooms, a referee room, canteen, accessible toilet and first aid and storage rooms. Along with the installation of 100-lux lighting, the Wonthaggi United Soccer Club will have a new home ground advantage for its growing number of junior and female members.
Other allocations include $400,000 towards a new pavilion at the home of the Hume Spears Sports Club at Seth Raistrick Recreation Reserve in Campbellfield, and more than $185,000 towards new lighting at McIvor Reserve in Yarraville.
Victorian Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence said the funding was about giving the sport the backing it deserved.
“We’re on the hunt for the next Sam Kerr or Tim Cahill and we’re all inspired by what our Matildas have achieved already. This funding will give grassroots football the support it deserves,” Spence said.
“We’re making sure that women and men, and girls and boys, of all abilities have the facilities they need to play the sports they love.”