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Western United to benefit from state government funding

Western United will receive funding from the Victorian government due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

United joins professional sporting teams from other codes including Rugby League and Netball, who will share a $9 million support package from the state government.

The funding has been allocated to ensure the short-term viability of professional clubs and national sporting organisations based in Victoria.

Commenting on the funding, Minister for Sport Martin Pakula said: “Top-level sport has copped a buffeting like all parts of society and it’s important that our clubs and peak bodies are able to get through this time in relatively good shape.”

“Professional sport and elite competition provide entertainment and inspiration and fans getting the all-clear to return to the stands will be a significant part of our economic recovery.”

A $150 million ‘Experience Economy Survival Package’ was announced earlier in the year in May, with the government seeking to help sport and racing organisations, community sport, as well as tourism and creative industries.

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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.

Victorian Government launches Change Our Game Community Activation Grants program

The Victorian State Government program features grants of up to $10,000 that are available for community sport and recreation organisations.

The Victorian State Government’s Change Our Game Community Activation Grants program has been launched as an initiative towards funding one-off community based events that celebrate the role of women and girls in sport and provide a level playing field.

The program, featuring grants of up to $10,000, is available for community sport and recreation organisations where they will be supported in delivering events to promote gender equality. This means it’s inclusive for everyone, and activities do not have to be women-only events – it is open to the entire community so men and boys get the same opportunities as women and girls.

The funds that are on offer are below:

  • Participation stream up to $5,000
  • Organisation or club training/development up to $5,000
  • Showcasing achievements up to $10,000

The grant is in its second round and is part of the Government’s $7.2 million investment for the Change Our Game initiative. The program has so far provided 155 grants that support community sport and recreation organisations. This is able to get required funds to host events, ranging from come-and-try days to community forums and educational sessions.

Any community level organisations who deliver sport and active recreation programs across Victoria are eligible to apply. However, those who received a grant from Round 1 of the 2020/2021 Change our Game Community Activation grant are not able to apply.

The Round 2 grants opened on April 14 2021, with applications to be submitted by the closing date of May 12 2021 at 5pm.

For preliminary information on the grant program, you can contact changeourgame@sport.vic.gov.au

You can apply for grants on the Change Our Game official site here.

Diversity and Inclusion Grant announced by ESFA for Association Clubs

Eastern Suburbs Football Association (ESFA) announced the finalisation of a Diversity and Inclusion Grant for its local Association Clubs.

New South Wales’ Eastern Suburbs Football Association (ESFA) announced the finalisation of a Diversity and Inclusion Grant for its local Association Clubs.

Acclaimed to be the ESFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Grant is a first for a local grassroots association in NSW, the grant will fund sport and physical activity events for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups within the ESFA Community.

Specifically, the grant is seeking to support projects that are aimed at the following:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Newly arrived migrants and refugees, or culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups’
  • Women’s football
  • People with a physical and/or intellectual disability
  • LGBTIQA+ communities

The grant reaffirms the ESFA’s dedication to developing football for the entire community – irrespective of age, colour, gender and disability.

Furthermore, the announcement represents a significant aspect of the ESFA’s key strategic pillars for 2021-24. These pillars outline a focus on delivering football which is not just of a high-quality standard, but football that is accessible to the entire Eastern Suburbs community in order to ensure that more members of the area are encouraged to be a part of the game.

ESFA Director Lisa Thorn explained the reasoning behind the grant by reiterating what the association stands for.

“This is an important mechanism to promote the growth of football for all,” she said.

“At ESFA we believe it is important that sporting bodies reflect the diversity in the communities they are a part of, and that they ensure that everybody has access to the beautiful game.

“This program supports people who are historically less likely to participate within ESFA competitions and will help build a resilient, cohesive and harmonious ESFA community.”

President of the ESFA, Nigel Singh, acknowledged the instrumental role football plays in fostering community and connectedness, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic.

“The events of last season highlighted how important football is beyond just the obvious physical benefits,” he said.

“Football establishes a sense of community, and it provides an avenue to form deeper connections with people we might not ordinarily interact with.

“We believe this program will allow our Clubs to continue the fantastic job they are doing in growing the game and in highlighting that participating within ESFA is about more than just football.”

Yarraville Glory Football Club boosted by $1.18 million funding grant

Yarraville Glory Football Club have been the beneficiaries of $1.18 million in funding through the West Gate Neighbourhood Fund community grants program.

The program has been delivered by the state government’s West Gate Tunnel Project with Yarraville receiving a lion share of the $6.4 million in funding, which has been divided across 19 different projects.

The club, who is based at McIvor Reserve, will use the funding to develop additional clubrooms, a new training and development room, a flexible floor plan, as well as flood lights and an equipment shed, which will be installed to improve playing and training conditions for participants.

Yarraville Glory Football Club secretary, Vince Cosentino, told Soccerscene that the submission proposal took him 10 hours to write after extensive consultation with local community groups, schools and MPs, as well as the local Greek community, who are heavily associated with the club.

The club submitted the application at the end of February last year after the West Gate Tunnel Project put out expressions of interest for community grants.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yarraville only received the news they had been successful in their quest in recent weeks, with local MP Melissa Horne visiting the club to make the funding announcement.

Cosentino explained how the club plans to use the grant to benefit not only the club, but the wider community as a whole.

“It’s a real community club, the members and the board have been around for quite a while,” he said.

“What we are looking to do is open up the club a lot more.

“We’ve got a floor space that we are going to renovate to be able to invite more school groups in. We already host little school football matches and tournaments and other things like that, but we want to open it up for more educational experiences and for FV if they want to do any sort of training courses from there.

“Community groups will be able to use the facility more, we’ll upgrade the positioning of the canteen area to be able to cater for that sort of stuff. We are also going to put in some dedicated female changerooms which we don’t have at the moment and female gyms. We will be able to have a much more female friendly environment.”

With a home Women’s World Cup on the way in 2023 Cosentino claims it is vital that the club has accessible facilities for all, as it continues to grow its female presence across the board.

“I think it’s extremely important and it’s the one area that we necessarily haven’t tapped into as a club,” he said.

“Because it is a very ethnic club and it is a little bit more male dominated, we are really trying to pull back women into the game.

“I think this is the third season we have got a senior women’s team and there are really healthy numbers, in the grassroots especially, that’s what we have noticed this year.

“It’s massive, when you think about it it’s 50 percent of the population, it really needs to be tapped into. It’s what I consider a safe sport, it’s not like they are going to get their head knocked off or anything like that and its very community orientated.”

The club continues to work with council around the intricacies of the grant, with alternative renovations possibly made in the future.

“We’re working closely with council at the moment and there’s a lot of good governance structures, the process is as mature as I’ve seen in a very long time,” Cosentino concluded.

Image Credit: Melissa Horne MP

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