Editorial: Update from HQ

Posted on - Latest News, Featured

Brett Connell – VAFA CEO

With the recent announcement by the AFL and State Government of a $242M windfall for suburban sporting clubs across Victoria, the additional advantages of a re-developed MCG and Etihad Stadium precinct for the broader football community, not to mention a further $15M locked away in a Female Friendly Facilities Fund, a $100M community sports infrastructure loans scheme and a further $60M in community sporting grants there is little doubt that the investment in sport in our state is well supported and community sport will be a welcome beneficiary.

With the growth of VAFA team numbers in recent years, mainly aided by the development and organic growth of our female participation numbers, there is no doubt clubs and councils are feeling the pinch when it comes to providing i) grounds and ii) female friendly facilities off field.

The announcements will no doubt be music to council and club ears, what we now need to do is harness this news and access this funding for football and community orientated projects going forward.

It’s time to get active and work together with all key stakeholders at your respective sites, so if you have plans afoot to improve facilities on and off the field at your clubs, let us know so we can support your pursuits and in turn further future proof our game.

On the back of the above we thought it pertinent to advise you of the progress of the re-development of Elsternwick Park No 1 Oval to date.

The newly renovated ground will be accessible by the VAFAUA and the Old Melburnians FC this coming Monday (April 23) for training and the ground is basically unrecognisable from what the state it has been in in recent times – refer FTLOTG for some images of the new surface and pavilion development.

The excitement will build across next week as Old Melburnians host Old Scotch for the Australian Cup at the newly renovated Elsternwick Park No1 Oval on Saturday April 28, with an Old Melburnians function and “soft” oval opening planned on the day.

The pavilion works are progressing and are on track for a move in date of June 12 for both the VAFA Administration and Old Melburnians FC.

The pavilion project will include a set of brand new goal posts, (4) separate change rooms (including trainers rooms, separate shower and bathroom facilities) and a separate umpire’s room with full amenities – we will have first class facilities to match a first class surface, no more will the important participants in our game (players, coaches and umpires) have to experience inadequate facilities at Elsternwick Park.

Old Melburnians will co-tenant Elsternwick Park No1 with the VAFA and any teams drawn to play Old Melburnians away for the remainder of the season will experience state league level facilities on and off the field from late June/early July.

Walk throughs have been held regularly and the state of the art facilities will be a show piece for all of the VAFA clubs to be proud of, with the ability to not only host matches but provide for meeting space and hospitality opportunities for all of the VAFA community.

The $6.4M project came together with the support of the State Government, Sport & Rec Victoria, the AFL and AFL Vic, the Bayside City Council, the Old Melburnians FC and the Elsternwick CC, all partners are thanked for the support of the project which will place the VAFA at the forefront on community football facilities in the state.

The project has seen an amazing transformation of Elsternwick Park No1 Oval take place both and off the field, a true indication of what can be achieved when we work together towards a common goal.

If you get a chance to drop into Elsternwick Park you will not be disappointed.

Enjoy your weekend and see you at the footy.

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