The State Government has kicked in another $200,000 to the new junior AFL Precinct at St Lukes Oval, Concord.
The funding boost – announced by Sports Minister Stuart Ayres and the Member for Drummoyne John Sidoti MP – brings the current commitment for the redevelopment to $1 million and is recognition of the huge growth of AFL across NSW.
The new facilities, which will be ready for play in Season 2017, will be jointly shared by Drummoyne Power, the Concord Giants and the Canada Bay Cannons.
The initial federal Government funding allocation of $500,000 was announced in June by the Member for Reid, Hon Craig Laundy MP. The AFL NSW/ACT will provide an additional six figure allocation towards the upgrade, with further funding from the City of Canada Bay and the three junior footy clubs.
St Lukes will be the new home ground for the Concord Giants from April next year.
Drummoyne Power and the Canada Bay Cannons will continue to use Drummoyne Oval as a home ground. They will use the new facilities as additional training space and on game days. Drummoyne Power and the Cannons will continue to have access to Five Dock Park.
Stage One of the project, due to be completed for the start of Season 2017, includes new light towers, a new video scoreboard, an upgrade to the existing amenity block and minor upgrades to the oval itself.
Stage Two, to be completed over a three to four-year time frame, will include further upgrades to the amenities block to include a clubhouse, viewing deck, storage and change rooms, and a major upgrade to the oval, including synthetic (all weather) turf. The total cost of the project is expected to about $3 million.
Concord Giants President-elect Natalie Baini and outgoing Drummoyne Power President Jeremy Stanwix were at the announcement of the new funding allocation.
Mr Stanwix said there had been a huge surge in the number of children playing AFL in the past few years, particularly with the introduction of a Youth Girls competition.
“The success of the Sydney Swans and the GWS GIANTS – who are playing in the first ever all NSW final this weekend – and the introduction of a National Women’s Competition in 2017 is only going to fuel interest in AFL,” Mr. Stanwix said.
“We’ve already seen massive growth in player numbers over the past few years. Current growth projections show the number of players growing by 100 per cent plus from 2015 to 2019,” Mr. Stanwix said.
Ms. Baini said the new facilities would provide an enormous boost for the Concord Giants, which has outgrown its current Goddard Park headquarters.
“The availability of green space is a major factor, not just for AFL, but for all junior sporting clubs. This new facility will be capable of hosting weekend games and mid-week training session for our Auskickers, right through to our youth teams.
“It is an exciting time for AFL in NSW right now, and we’re glad to be a part of it,” Ms. Baini said.