Albury United Soccer Club’s plans to upgrade Jelbart Park have been given a push over the line thanks to a $150,000 NSW Football Legacy Fund grant.
The NSW Football Legacy Fund (NFLF) aims to improve football facilities, support infrastructure, and increase participation opportunities, while improving female player pathways.
Legacy grant aims to improve the current standards at Jelbart Park and give the Albury United Soccer Club, as well as the broader Albury region, a home with durability to the turbulent weather and high football demand.
The work set to be completed includes a renovation of existing amenities, new field lighting and a restoration of the playing surface including returfing, drainage, and irrigation. In addition, there will be a scoreboard installed.
Albury United Soccer Club President Justin Stevens discussed the vital need for the approved works.
“Ground 3 is pretty much rendered useless for our training at night-time, there are no lights at all,” he said
“When we lose one field, it starts to impact other clubs when we are such a huge club with big numbers”.
The works, due to commence in the back half of 2023, are directly in line with the NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy key pillars of ‘Improving Existing Venue Capacity’ and ‘Planning for Growth and Demand’.
Drainage, irrigation, and lighting play a crucial role in ensuring fields can remain open during the winter season and accommodate extended periods of use.
Albury City Mayor Kylie King was ecstatic to see the funding come through.
“To know that the Legacy Fund will come into our grassroots community, from a mayor’s perspective, I’m so proud and thrilled,” King said. “World Cup fever, we are certainly amongst it!”
Albury United SC boast an impressive 26% of all participants being female and continue to accommodate for roughly 250 participants per season.
NSW Football Legacy Fund Grants and Facilities Officer James Spanoudakis acknowledged the contributions of the local club.
“Albury United Soccer Club have put a monumental effort into attaining this grant to develop their facilities at Jelbart Park,” he said.
“It will allow their female participants to play in an environment that is safe and inclusive. The work being completed will no doubt help accommodate for the expected increase in participation thanks to the FIFA Women’s World Cup on home soil.”
The Matildas are set to play on home soil in what is anticipated to be the largest FIFA Women’s World Cup in history in just a few months’ time. The Legacy Fund continues to help build an environment that can support female footballers to not only participate but continue to aspire to be limitless in their aspirations.
About the Legacy Fund Participation and Infrastructure Grants
The NSW Government recently announced a $3.1 million investment into more than 100 grassroots football projects across the state to help improve facilities and run programs to boost player participation as part of the NSW Football Legacy Fund.
The investment is intended to broaden female player options and increase participation opportunities, whilst enhancing football facilities and supporting infrastructure. This fund also aims to assist clubs in developing football programs at all levels through the construction or upgrading of community facilities, leadership, and development initiatives.
As Australia prepares to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, strengthening the football community in NSW is key to matching the unprecedented level of interest in female football. The NSW Football Legacy Fund seeks to ensure it has the facilities and programming to match the buzz that the FIFA World Cup is generating for Australia’s next generation of future Matildas.
More information about the NSW Football Legacy Fund is available here.