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Waverley City Soccer Club boosted by significant funding from the Victorian Government  

Waverley City Soccer Club have received a $125,000 funding boost in the form of new and improved competition grade lighting, through the Victorian Government’s World Game Facilities Fund.

The installation of the state-of-the-art LED lighting at the club’s home ground at Milpera Reserve in Wantirna coincides with recent upgrades currently in progress at the facility, which includes the implementation of a new playing surface, irrigation system, fencing and goals.

Club president Kevin Tan explained to Soccerscene that the range of upgrades are extremely beneficial for the club.

“For us specifically, it’s fantastic that we now have the ability to train and play night games sporadically in the same location,” he said.

“Before this, we had to move our training sessions to a different ground and play games here.

“Being able to train at the ground you play may seem like a small thing but for us it saves us so much money. There are also other benefits such as having the juniors and seniors training together, so the juniors and seniors now see each other and interact – which is great for building a culture in the club.”

The club was formed in 2007 on the back of a group of mates who were looking to play games of football together on the weekends.

Since then, the club has expanded significantly with 172 members, fielding four senior men’s teams, two senior women’s teams and six junior teams.

The local community have played a huge role in the progress of the club and according to Tan, the new upgrades are for all to enjoy.

“In regards to our affiliation with the area, we want be more visible in the community; we can hold events and things like that to get to know our neighbours a bit more,” he said.

“The wider community can obviously use it, importantly it’s for them as well.

“Some of the early feedback we’ve received from members around the community is that they love the ability to walk around Milpera at night now.

“Previously there was no lights at all, so if they want to go for a walk at night in the area while we train, they can, and have, which is really good.”

Lisa Cooper, Mayor and Councillor of Knox City Council, spoke about the funding for the lighting upgrades: “There are so many new teams, and every team needs a suitable space to train and play. The Victorian Government’s World Game Facilities Fund is helping us keep up with growth in the sport locally.

“Training and match standard lighting enables more teams to train and play in the evening but it can be expensive, and the grants are helping us complete the upgrades more quickly than Council could find the budget for on our own.

“The LED lighting is energy-efficient and focuses the light on the pitch so it doesn’t spill into surrounding backyards,” Cooper concluded.

The funding boost has also been complemented by goodwill agreements with the local council, who have cancelled ground hire costs for Waverley City Soccer Club this season.

“Our council has been good with us; they’ve waived fees this season for ground fees,” Tan said.

“We’ve obviously had some financial struggles in the last year with Covid like a lot of clubs, so being able to save money while you can, is amazing for us.

“It is something that has allowed us to stabilise the club.”

In the near future, further upgrades are set for Milpera Reserve, including the introduction of portable change-rooms which will give the club the scope to eventually expand the number of boys’ and girls’ teams.

“It’s part of a 3-year plan which had been previously confirmed, but COVID has messed up the timeline a bit,” Tan said.

“Previously we had a really good chat with our former councillor Jackson Taylor and he was really big on improving our area’s sporting clubs (he eventually became a member of parliament for Bayswater) and really helped a lot with getting our grants sorted for us.

“The lights were meant to be done in the last year, but nothing really got done in 2020 because of the pandemic. I’m now not actually sure of what the rest of the timeline is, but I do believe they (portable change-rooms) are guaranteed for some time in the future, which is definitely exciting for us.”

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Football Victoria announce 2021 refund policy

Football Victoria has announced a refund policy that will provide over $1.75 million of refunds to members across the state.

The refunds are based on a formula that take into account the 2021 Football Victoria “No Season” Refund multiplied by the percentage of rounds that were not played.

Football Victoria’s refund policy allocates refunds on both a per player and team basis, with the total refunds being returned to clubs and players totalling in excess of $1.75 million.

Player refunds will be processed via clubs.

The Football Victoria statement announcing the refund policy read:

“Most of our community will recall from both the 2020 and preliminary 2021 policies, that a cost apportionment model is used to generate the relevant refunds for each competition. It is really important to note that FV’s costs are not linear to the season, with an overwhelming proportion of the work to provide football competitions completed prior to the season’s commencement. This is reflected in the preliminary version of the 2021 Fee Refund Policy released pre-season, which contained relevant refunds for a ‘no-season scenario’.

“Based on this cost apportionment model only, no refunds would be payable at this stage of the season. However, FV is acutely aware of the financial impacts to the football ecosystem and its stakeholders. Through this updated policy, we have made a strong commitment to supporting our Clubs and players, at a time when they need it most.

“As a result, we have developed a formula, as below, to deliver funds back to both Clubs and players, to support your football journey and a return to football in 2022. We have applied cost apportionment principles, as represented through the ‘no season’ refund percentages, as well as the percentage of rounds unable to be completed for each competition.”

The announcement also confirmed that Football Victoria would be establishing principles within the Rules of Competition that are better equipped to deal with the consequences of cancelled or partially completed seasons.

“We cannot help but reflect on where our game could have been, if not for the back-to-back season interruptions in 2020 and 2021. While the 2021 season cancellations across the state didn’t come as a surprise to many, we know it doesn’t make it any easier to accept, including what this means for promotion, relegation and awarding champions,” the statement reads.

“In advance of the 2022 season, the Board is committed to ensuring the Rules of Competition reflect a clear set of principles in the event of any future interrupted or incomplete seasons.

“Many Clubs have reinforced a strong desire to play football in any format, when it is safe to do so. The call of the pitch is strong and we will be working with Clubs to provide football in all ways, at venues across the state in spring and summer. We look forward to sharing more information on this shortly when we have direction from the Victorian Government.”

You can access the refund policy HERE.

Diamond Valley United receive $650,000 facility upgrade boost

Clubs in Queensland will need to transition from EVA Check-In to the Queensland Government's Check In Qld app.

Diamond Valley United are set to receive new female-friendly change rooms in the coming weeks, after receiving a significant amount of funding from Banyule City Council and the Victorian Government.

The local council has put $400,000 towards the upgrades at Partington Flats, whilst the Victorian Government has put forward $250,000 through their World Game Facilities Fund.

The works are set to begin in the next couple of weeks, with the upgrades to be ready for the new season in 2022.

President of Diamond Valley United, Mark O’Shea, explained the growth of the female side of the game at the club helped the cause for the eventual upgrades to the clubrooms.

“The overall push for female facilities was pretty much driven by the local Banyule Council,” O’Shea told Soccerscene.

“The team at Banyule Council came down to speak with us, and asked what we needed as a club around 3-4 years ago. At that time, new changerooms were our number one priority, alongside other facilities which needed to be upgraded.

“Four years ago, we had one female team, but now we have around seven – so I guess the growth over time on the female side of the club drove the council to take action and get the clubrooms upgraded.”

O’Shea believes the upgrades will have a huge benefit for females involved in the club, who don’t feel comfortable in using the amenities currently.

“The changerooms we have been using are about 35 years old and aren’t really female friendly at all,” he said.

“So, we are turning our changerooms from two into four.

“It allows us to have much more appropriate female friendly facilities. They are all currently old-school open showers and females can’t shower there and use the changeroom properly.

“Having the four changerooms will allow us to cope with the number of teams we have on the female side, but also they will be great spaces for everyone at our club.”

The hope is that the new facilities will create new opportunities for the club to further connect with the wider community.

“We share our club with schools and other groups, so having those female friendly facilities opens up some new avenues for us to share our facilities with new community groups and schools,” O’Shea said.

The pandemic has affected the club in recent times, like most sporting organisations across Australia, but a strong rebound is expected according to the club president.

“There’s no way we could afford to do the upgrades ourselves, COVID has had a massive effect on all sporting groups in the last two years,” he said.

“Our numbers have gone down around 30-40% when it comes to juniors, but in saying that we do expect a big bounce back from a lot of kids at the other side of the pandemic.

“I think parents are keen to get kids out of their homes and off their iPads. Having those facilities at our club will also allow us to take on another 5 or 6 more female teams, which is fantastic.”

Alongside the new clubrooms, further upgrades will look to leave Diamond Valley United in good stead in the long term.

“We’ve been working with council and we are looking to do a lighting upgrade which is due for the next financial year,” O’Shea said.

“Following that, we are getting our ground reconfigured and resurfaced. These upgrades will be great for the future of our club.”

 

 

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