Thursday, March 7, 2019

Wilkie does it again: $12.8 million grant for football

Photo:  Metro president Darrin Chaffey, Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley, Andrew Wilkie MHR and Mayor of Glenorchy Kristie Johnston at today's announcement at North Chigwell [PlessPix]

The largest single investment in Tasmanian football was announced at North Chigwell today with the Federal Government granting $12.8 million for the construction of a Northern Suburbs Junior Football Hub at Metro’s ground.

Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley and FT Director Jim Lange joined MP Andrew Wilkie to announce the $12.8 million in Federal Government funding.

Also present were Mayor of Glenorchy City Council, Ald Kristie Johnston, Metro FC President Darrin Chaffey and Northern Suburbs Junior Soccer Association President Bianca Tolputt.

The grant will fully fund the construction of a Junior Football Hub that will boast five separate pitches, two of them with a synthetic surface.

In addition, the new facility will have high-quality lighting, new female-friendly change rooms, a function centre, spectator stand and increased car parking.

Photo:  The North Chigwell ground which will be redeveloped [PlessPix]

Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley said the new facility would be a “game changer” for the sport.

“FT is absolutely delighted with the result Mr Wilkie has secured and we’re very grateful to the Federal Government for the injection of funds into football.

"This is a wonderful outcome for football more broadly, but in particular for the children and families in the Northern Suburbs.

"This is an absolute game-changer for football in this region in particular.

“A centralised hub at North Chigwell will help accommodate existing and future participation growth in football and facilitate improved community and health outcomes in the area.

“This funding will complement the State Government ‘Ticket to Play’ initiative by enhancing access to sporting facilities, and removing some of the practical barriers that exist in terms of families being able to transport their children to football.”

“More than 18% of the population in the Glenorchy Council area are aged 0-14, which means football has enormous capacity for growth.

“There are over 11,000 people under the age of 18 and this upgraded facility will ensure we can accommodate this.

Photo:  Andrew Wilkie, Darrin Chaffey, Kristie Johnston and Matt Bulkeley look at the plan for the redevelopment [PlessPix]

“Metro FC is a growing club across all areas.  They will have two senior women’s teams this year alone, together with men’s, youth and junior teams.

“New facilities for them will make it a much more comfortable environment for all players  -  male and female  -  given the availability of multiple change rooms.

“As well as providing access benefits, the new hub will enhance the game-day atmosphere, with hundreds of children playing football at the same time in the same location increasing community engagement and togetherness.

“The new facilities at North Chigwell will also allow for even more local community and sporting groups to access facilities without needing to travel too far away from home”

Bulkeley said that he was extremely encouraged by what today's announcement meant for the future of the game in Tasmania.

"We’re really excited to see the recent announcements for football,” he said.

“As the most played sport in Tasmania, we have a number of projects around the state we have been working with our clubs to secure funding for, so to get such a major one fully funded is a tremendous result for our sport."

Bulkeley said he was confident this would help drive further growth and allow more Tasmanian's access to play the game.

“A lack of grass and access to pitch time is the biggest barrier to growth for a number of our clubs around the State, so investment in projects such as this will really help us accommodate further growth.”

Andrew Wilkie said it was now up to Football Tasmania and the Glenorchy City Council to get the paperwork for the grant through before the Government goes into caretaker mode before a general election.

He also had a swipe at Football Federation Australia for ignoring Tasmania’s bid for entry into the A-League.

He said FFA seemed more intent on cannibalising existing support in Melbourne and Sydney instead of admitting a regional area such as Tasmania.

Photo:  Mayor of Glenorchy Kristie Johnston addresses the gathering at North Chigwell today  [PlessPix]


Green street said...

FFA are scared of tassie having a team .because if we build a ground like Broadfield stadium rectangular close to pitch with about 6000 fans like Crawley .the atmosphere would be bouncing & mainlanders would love it here for an away trip plus weather conditions better

Anonymous said...

When will you get it. As I have stated publicly before when asked all this A league talk is just nonsense. It is spin propagated by those that have a what they think to be vested interest. Please people wake up and support the local league because that is the only league you will see here in your life time.

Anonymous said...

that is amazing

Anonymous said...

Well said.
At last someone with some intelligence.