New Projects Push Country Football, Netball Tally Past 500

More Victorians are playing their favourite sports on upgraded ovals and courts thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s record investment in country football and netball.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula today confirmed 17 new projects would share in more than $1.6 million in funding from the latest round of the Country Football and Netball Program.

The new grants take the number of projects supported under the program past 500 – and the value of works to $100 million – since Labor introduced the program in 2005.

The boost will support Mitchell Shire Council to transform netball lighting at Greenhill Reserve for the growing numbers of women and girls signing up to play for the Wallan Magpies Football Netball Club, thanks to a $83,525 grant.

A $100,000 injection will support Casey City Council to construct two netball courts at Kilora Active Open Space Reserve to support the Berwick Springs Football Netball Club.

The Country Football and Netball Program allows councils to replace and upgrade ageing facilities across rural, regional and outer metropolitan Victoria, so football and netball clubs can best serve their community and improve gender equality in sport.

Grants of up to $100,000 are available for projects including ground resurfacing, lighting upgrades, building modern and safer netball courts and constructing pavilions with accessible, female-friendly changerooms.

The growth of female football, from 58 teams in 2010 to more than 1,000 this year, demonstrates the need to continue to build facilities that are suitable for women and girls.

The Country Football and Netball Program is a funding partnership with the AFL, AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria. For a full list of projects supported in the current round, visit sport.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula

“A person’s postcode should not be a limiting factor when it comes to sport.”

“Everyone deserves a fair go and that’s why we are supporting country football and netball clubs and the players, supporters and volunteers who make them strong.”

Quote attributable to head of AFL Victoria Ricky Bell

“County football and netball clubs are the lifeblood of their communities – AFL Victoria is incredibly grateful for this partnership with the Victorian Government, the AFL and Netball Victoria that has now supported 500 projects.”

Quote attributable to Netball Victoria chief executive Rosie King

“New lights and shelters, safe courts and other facilities make a real difference to clubs across the state and we thank the Victorian Government for their ongoing support.”