Football Victoria has held the first in a series of Local Government Area (LGA) Forums as part of a commitment to improving football facilities, competitions and communications state-wide.
The meetings are being held off the back of the Football Victoria’s recently-released State Facilities Strategy 2026 launch back in August.
The strategy outlines FFV’s plan to work hand-in-hand with local communities and government, to upgrade local football facilities across the state, to ensure they can meet the demands of Australia’s fastest growing club-based participation sport.
According to Football Victoria, the game needs 420 new playing grounds over the next five years merely to meet growing levels of demand. Data shows that in the football season just past, some 12,500 people across the state – boys and girls, women and men, and players of all abilities – were turned away by football clubs due to a chronic lack of suitable facilities.
Peter Filopoulos, CEO Football Federation Victoria, said while grassroots demand for football is strong, local clubs are struggling to keep up.
“It’s well known football is the number one participation sport in the country. But sadly, every day we hear another story of how our clubs across the state don’t have the facilities to keep up with this growth and end up knocking back people who want to play”, he said.
“We’re all in it together to ensure the funding is there to support the ongoing growth of one of the nation’s most popular participation sports. Football plays a critical role in bringing communities together and it’s vital that as a society we’re enabling a growing number of Victorians to play the game they love,” Mr Filopoulos said.
“The opportunity for football is so exciting and we’ll keep working with government at all levels so we can meet the burgeoning demand for the game across Victoria,” he said.
Football Victoria's Facilities & Advocacy team, headed by former Socceroo Gary Cole, is meeting with as many LGA's as possible to plan for the future of football in the state. These meetings also included discussion around our competition structures in 2020 as well as the great work being done with the ten Club Ambassadors on the road working with both clubs and councils.
With many clubs and facilities reaching capacity we are currently turning away 12,500 Victorian boys and girls. Football Victoria's Club Ambassadors will maintain a presence on the ground continuing to work with Clubs and Councils to grow participation and communicate the need for facility improvements to the FV Facilities & Advocacy team.
"There is no doubt that LGA's are a major sponsor of the game here in Victoria and it is essential we work closely to maximise the health and social outcomes for players and their families in communities across the state," Cole said.
"We will continue to improve how we communicate and ensure Football Victoria is a sporting organisation that has the trust of Councils and one that can engage in regular and open dialogue with LGA's around the state."
The first forum with LGA’s was held on Monday November 26 at Brimbank Council. With additional forums, open to all LGA’s, to be held in Knox, Kingston and Moreland over the coming weeks.
One or more representatives from 25 different Councils have or will attend the forums.