Football Victoria (FV) is delighted to learn that the Victorian Government has unveiled the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program, a scheme aimed at upgrading or creating new community sports projects across Victoria.
The $68 million program is designed to support Victoria’s economy by working with Councils and sporting bodies to fast-track community sports infrastructure projects across the state.
The Victorian Government today announced that funding of a minimum of $1 million up to $10 million will be available for individual shovel-ready projects, in addition to the existing funding under the World Game Facilities Fund.
Football Victoria has already identified a significant number of shovel-ready projects that require such investment and will continue to work with Local Government Authorities, the State Government, Clubs and Associations to accelerate key projects and further opportunities in the months ahead.
Football Victoria Chief Executive Peter Filopoulos welcomed the new program and said the initiative will greatly assist in providing much-needed facilities to support the ongoing growth of the game in Victoria.
“This is a terrific initiative by the Victorian Government and I would like to commend Premier Daniel Andrews and the Minister for Community Sport, Ros Spence for having the foresight to recognise the need for major investment in community sporting facilities at this time which will also serve to stimulate the economy post COVID-19,” Filopoulos said.
“In terms of football, it is no secret we have an enormous mismatch in terms of the demand to play and the facilities we presently have access to. We are turning away tens of thousands of participants every year because we simply do not have enough pitches and pavilions.”
In recent years, Football Victoria has developed an extensive Facilities Strategy, one that outlines the imperative to build an extra 420 full-size equivalent pitches by 2027 - the minimum required to keep pace with the state’s relentless appetite for football and continued population growth. Since releasing this facilities strategy, we have had a 24% increase in participation in 2018 and a further 29% increase in 2019 which has further compounded the facilities gap.
“For football to achieve its potential in Victoria, we will continue to require significant and ongoing investment from initiatives such as the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program and the World Game Facilities Fund,” Filopoulos said. “Our belief is that every boy and girl has the right to play the game they love and if we put the hard work in now, that dream can be turned into reality.”
The next step in the process is for FV to work with Councils on submitting applications under this fund.