Eight infrastructure projects in the Hunter will benefit to the tune of more than $600,000, courtesy of the Football NSW Legacy Fund.
The initiative follows the success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, where the Australian Matildas finished fourth on the international stage after reaching the semi-finals.
The tournament set new records with approximately 1.9 million spectators attending games and almost 750,000 people venturing to FIFA Fan Festivals.
As a result, the Greta Branxton Football Club secured $150,000 towards a lighting upgrade at Miller Park, while Maitland City Council snared $129,450 for similar work at Lawrence Oval.
Port Stephens Council garnered a total of $150,000 to enhance floodlighting at Tilligerry United FC ($60,000) and the Raymond Terrace Soccer Club ($90,000).
City of Newcastle pocketed $89,100, with 50% of it going to Elermore Vale Reserve and the remainder to Stevenson Park.
Other beneficiaries included the Lochinvar Rovers Football Club ($55,000 – field irrigation and topsoil upgrade) and the Belmont Swansea United Football Club ($38,000 – irrigation update).
“The nation was captivated and inspired by the Matildas, demonstrating the desire for expansion within female football in our country,” Northern NSW Football CEO Peter Haynes said.
“This funding will allow for new facilities and participation initiatives to be implemented, which will significantly improve the experience of women and girls within our game.
“It’s a big win within the northern NSW football community.”
Another dozen clubs will share in $127,543 towards participation incentives.
New Lambton Football Club claimed $30,000 all-up for a female engagement and growth program ($15,000) as well as a juniors’ game day experience ($150,000).
A further $15,000 went to the Stockton Sharks Football Club to increase participation, while the Hamilton Azzurri Football Club acquired a much-needed $14,862.
Additional grants were awarded to the Charlestown Football Club ($5,780), Greta Branxton Football Club ($9,482), Lochinvar Rovers Football Club ($13,125), Macquarie Football ($14,399), Maryland Fletcher Football Club ($4,270), Muswellbrook Football Club ($3,178), Singleton Strikers Football Club ($3,730), Swansea Football Club ($8,407) and Valentine Eleebana FC ($5,310) for a variety of activations.
“We’re thrilled to receive funding,” Hamilton Azzurri club person Thomas Kane said.
“The money will be used to offer our Open Football Girls Program, which includes specific all-girls holiday clinics and after-school initiatives to CALD and refugee communities in the Newcastle area.”
The funding is part of the NSW Government’s $10 million NSW Football Legacy Program that supports the construction of new and upgraded facilities, participation initiatives, high performance, leadership and development ventures as well as tourism and international engagement as a direct result of NSW hosting games at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“The success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Matildas’ results helped to unlock the potential of women’s and girls’ sport in this country,” Minister for Women and Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison said.
“Programs like the NSW Football Legacy Fund will make sure that everyone involved in the sport, from youngsters lacing up their boots for the first time to experienced players, coaches and officials, will benefit from their incredible achievement.
“While there is still considerable work to be done, projects delivered through this program will help level the playing field for women’s sport.”
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