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Girls the winners in latest sports grants


New sports equipment, goals, integration aids, uniforms and a tournament are all on the shopping lists of four lucky Hunter sporting organisations after they were selected to share in $3.1 million worth of government funding. 

Jesmond, South Cardiff, Tilligery and Merewether United football clubs are among the 100 NSW grassroots football projects chosen, 21 from across northern NSW. 

The funding is designed to help enhance football facilities, support infrastructure, increase participation opportunities and improve female player pathways. 

It is hoped the programs will boost participation as part of the NSW Football Legacy Fund.  

It comes as Australia prepares to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. 

Merewether United Football Club

Northern NSW Football interim CEO Peter Haynes says having inclusive facilities will help boost participation for women and girls.  

“Funding these projects will significantly improve the experience of women and girls within our game which is a huge win for our football community,” he said. 

“As we begin the countdown to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, there is already an enormous buzz around football and this funding will assist local clubs to leverage the community’s excitement by running programs that will drive interest and ultimately participation in the game.”  

To encourage increased participation in the sport, Merewether United Football Club has been awarded funds to develop special events for young female players.  

Secretary Nicola De Jong says the money would ultimately help boost its female player numbers. 

“Merewether United Football Club is thrilled to be receiving this funding from the NSW Government’s Football Legacy Program,” she said.  

“The funds will be used to develop special events to help engage young girls to join the sport and hone their football skills.  

“We’ll also be using the funding to replace old gear to support and recruit the next generation of Matildas.”  

Matildas goalkeeper Teagan Micah of Australia saves a goal during a Women's International football match
Do we have a Matilda in training right here in the Hunter? (pictured: Matildas goalkeeper Teagan Micah. Getty Images 2022)

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