With the recent completion of the most comprehensive Football Facilities Audit ever undertaken, Football NSW and Northern NSW Football now turn their attention to the next phase of the process and the development of a Football Infrastructure Strategy for the period 2020–2030.
To support future planning Football NSW and Northern NSW Football completed a detailed analysis of every football venue in NSW, including pitches, clubrooms, change rooms, match official amenities, lighting, spectator accommodation, car parking and other features present.
Football NSW Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Hodge said “the 2018 Audit was the first to be undertaken since a similar exercise was conducted as part of Australia’s bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Our latest Audit included 1,005 sites and a total of 2,284 football pitches and uncovered some alarming results for the State’s largest team sport.”.
“The audit revealed insufficient playing pitches in certain pockets of the state, often resulting in players being denied access to a club, the poor quality of certain aspects of facilities such as drainage, irrigation and lighting, and in particular, the inadequacy of ageing facilities and their ability to cope with the growth in popularity of the sport amongst young girls and women’.
The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy 2020-2030 will utilise the latest in industry shaping technology platforms to measure and monitor participation in football and project future demand for the game. Internationally recognised data management group ActiveXchange will lead the project, whilst world renowned industry specialists ‘insideEDGE Sport and Leisure Planning’ will deliver the strategy and associated football community and government stakeholder consultation. insideEDGE was responsible for the Sports Facilities Auditor software that was behind the recent Football Facilities Audit.
Hodge again stated “a strategic framework for the planning and development of football infrastructure across metropolitan Sydney and regional NSW is imperative so as to sustain current participation numbers and to help grow the game in the future. In simple terms, going forward the current demand and growth of the game is only limited by our capacity to provide suitable facilities for players to play at”.
The aim of the project is to use planning methodologies that is evidence based and driven by data from a range of government and other sources to deliver an integrated State-wide football facility supply, demand and investment strategy that guides the provision of, and investment in football facilities across NSW over the next ten years.
Northern NSW Chief Executive Officer, David Eland commented, “the NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy will become an important piece in our ongoing engagement with all levels of government over the coming decade. This strategy will allow the sport and government the opportunity to plan and develop football facilities for the 350,000 registered participants that play the world game today. It will also help plan for the envisaged NSW population growth and an estimated increase of more than 110,000 players over the next ten years which we will require some 700 new pitches in order to accommodate them.”
The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy 2020-2030 is a joint venture project demonstrating football’s commitment to investing in the future of football and is funded through the Football Federation Australia’s Community Investment Fund, in association with Football NSW and Northern NSW Football.
Detailed engagement will take place throughout the development of the strategy including all Football NSW associations and Northern NSW zones, NSW Government – Office of Sport, Local Councils and other relevant bodies.
Stakeholders and partners will be kept informed of the Project’s progress and opportunities for engagement via the NSW Football Facilities Website.
The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy 2020-2030 is anticipated to be developed throughout 2019 with a final version of the Strategy due by January 2020 ready for adoption and implementation shortly thereafter.