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Welcome Sports Festival brings community together

Holding a community event is a great way to bring people of similar interests together and the Welcome Sports Festival has done just that.

The free event, held on Sunday at the Welcome Sports Clubhouse in Yeronga, has provided an interactive session of family-friendly activities that allowed people to participate in local sports of the area.

The aim of the day was to get them involved and try out in sports that they’ve been interested in watching, including soccer, AFL, tennis, cricket and touch rugby.

In addition, diverse cultural music, food and activities added to the positive atmosphere for the event. Brisbane Roar FC goalkeeper Jamie Young was also in attendance as a guest speaker for everyone who attended.

As a whole, the event was designed to connect with the many communities that Queensland has to offer, including newly-arrived migrants and refugees as part of Multicultural Queensland Month.

Most importantly, it gets sporting clubs and codes the chance to meet new people and build connections so that it helps participants get engaged with their favourite sport.

By coming to this event and giving sports activities a go, no matter what the skill level, it’ll mean that people of all ages will be more inclined to join up to a local team and play for fun or competitively.

The main aspects of the Welcome Sports Festival are to improve friendships and general wellbeing through active sport participation.

Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Lalor United FC to receive multi-million dollar makeover at HR Uren Reserve

Lalor United FC are set to benefit from a multi-million dollar facility upgrade at HR Uren Reserve, the club’s home ground in Thomastown.

Under the upgrade plans, the club will receive a new synthetic pitch, a new pavilion – which will include a multi-purpose social space and a notable carpark extension.

Lalor have been pushing for these upgrades for a number of years – according to vice president of the club Emil Atanasov, with the local Whittlesea City Council providing significant support which included funding for the project.

Speaking to Soccerscene, Atanasov explained the timeline for the implementation of the upgrades.

“Stage One of the project is to put in a brand-new artificial FIFA approved pitch,” he said.

“The pitch that is currently there now hasn’t been touched since 1979. Construction on that will start any day now – when more of the construction workers get back to work and will be ready by March of next year.

“As soon as that’s done in March, the works for the pavilion should begin.

“The brand-new pavilion will have a social space for the club and local communities. The tender process for that should be going out shortly, but it should be assigned and ready to go in March.

“Finally with the carpark, works could possibly begin the same time as the pavilion, or they are going to wait for the pavilion to get completed to get going on it.”

Atanasov believes the much-needed changes to the facility will bring in a range of benefits for the club, but also to the local community.

“It’s huge for the club, as now you will be able to play all weather football,” he said.

“That pitch used to flood all the time, if there was a bit of rain you couldn’t train on it. Now, there will be no problem for any type of weather.

“We are also expecting a bit of an influx of players to the club because the facilities upgrade is huge for the area.

“With the pavilion, lots of community groups have already said they want to use it, for example dancing groups and pensioner groups.

“We have never had a social space at the club, it’s always been the changerooms converted into a makeshift dining room. So now, finally the club is getting a social space where members can sit down and enjoy themselves with great company.

“That carpark at the moment has around 50 spaces or so and at night it is prone to accidents. With the upgrades they will develop a one-way entrance and exit and there will be triple the amount of space.”

The club itself was established over 40 years ago and has a historic presence in the Thomastown area.

When initially created, Lalor United was inspired by a vision for a broad-based community team, celebrating cultural diversity and sporting passion through football, according to a statement on the club’s website.

Atanasov stated that the club’s core mission is to provide “a safe, fun, football environment for anyone who wants to play the game.”

This type of motto has led to Lalor becoming one of the largest clubs in the City of Whittlesea municipality, with more than 300 members signed up across a wide range of teams.

The club has ambitions for further upgrades in the future, which will look to hopefully grow their culturally diverse membership base even further.

“Look upgrades wise, we’d like our lights updated eventually so we can play night matches and attract a few more teams at the club,” Atanasov said.

“But for now, we are focusing on the current upgrades and once they are done, we will be all set and ready to go.”

Member Federations throw support behind Football Australia’s #VaxxedToBeBack initiative

FA

Australia’s Member Federations have thrown their support behind Football Australia’s ‘#VaxxedToBeBack’ initiative.

The initiative features representatives from across Australia’s large, diverse, and multicultural football family, providing amplification of Federal, State, and Territory Government COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.

Included in the video are Commonwealth Bank Matildas players Sam Kerr and Alanna Kennedy, Socceroos number one goalkeeper Mathew Ryan, former Socceroo Joel Griffiths, elite referee Kate Jacewicz and prominent Australian football personality, Stephanie Brantz.

The #VaxxedToBeBack initiative seeks to encourage members of Australia’s broad football community to share the reasons why they’ve been vaccinated as football and Australia as a whole strives to emerge from the global pandemic.

“I haven’t been back to Australia in almost two years so I am doing my part to protect myself and my family,” Kerr said in the video. Kennedy reflects that her nieces and nephews have grown so much over the past year, so she “can’t wait to be home and give them a big hug”.

Spain-based Socceroo Ryan is #VaxxedToBeBack “to help try and create a healthy and safe environment out there for all of us to be able to thrive in.” Leading match official Jacewicz, who refereed in the recent Tokyo 2020 Women’s Football Tournament, is “’#VaxxedToBeBack’ to return to the pitch for your football matches.”

While Football Australia and Member Federations respect and acknowledge that vaccination is an individual decision, the organisations support Federal, State, and Territory Government advice that mass vaccinations is Australia’s pathway out of COVID-19.

James Johnson, CEO of Football Australia, applauded the initiative in the interests of the wellbeing of our Australian football community at large.

“The safety and wellbeing of the Australian football community is paramount to Football Australia. As Australia’s most diverse and largest club-based participation sport, Australian football will continue to play its part as a responsible and good citizen, as Australia looks to reopen and recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19,” Johnson said.

Football Australia, in partnership with Member Federations, continues to work on and plan for a variety of competitions, projects and initiatives that will underpin the growth of football as Australia emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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