An investment of $70.6 million in the Victorian Budget 2021/22 will be a boon for players, volunteers and officials, while also creating more than 150 local jobs.
Some $55 million will deliver new and improved community sports infrastructure across the state, with a particular focus on providing facilities to encourage participation among women and girls through the popular Female Friendly Facilities Fund.
Projects funded in the Budget include a new pavilion and community space at Jack Edwards Reserve in Oakleigh, improvements to clubrooms at Blackburn Cycling Club, the development of an outdoor community gym in Delacombe and upgrades to facilities at Barwon Heads Tennis Club.
Recent projects include new changerooms at the Old Aerodrome Sporting Complex and Kenny Park in Mildura, improved netball facilities at the Inverloch‑Kongwak Sea Eagles Football Netball Club in Gippsland, a pavilion for the Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association and an indoor basketball hub for women and girls at Mill Park.
The latest round of applications will open later this year.
This builds on last year’s $110 million Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program, which fast‑tracked shovel‑ready projects, supporting more than 500 jobs for local workers.
The latest funding takes the Victorian Government’s investment in community sports infrastructure to more than $1.1 billion since 2014 – an investment that has strengthened local sporting clubs and created new jobs across Victoria.
“We’re levelling the playing field, providing new and improved facilities and making sure clubs can return to play – while also supporting and creating local job,” Ros Spence, Minister for Community Sport said.
The Budget also provides $11.6 million to continue programs that are driving participation and inclusion for women and girls. This includes boosting Change Our Game activities to achieve greater visibility of women and girls, as well as continued scholarships, community action and broadcasting programs.
The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation was established in 2017 and was the first office of its kind in Australia. More than 380 Change our Game grants have been awarded to organisations and individuals working and volunteering in the sports and recreation sector, community sporting clubs, and state sporting organisations.
The Victorian Government will fund the ongoing operation of the Office, making sure we’re supporting the next Meg Lanning or Tayla Harris.
The Budget provides $4 million to support the Reclink ActiVIC program of pop‑up sports days that open doors to sport and recreation for disadvantaged young people across the state.
Through the program, young people get the opportunity to try new experiences, expand their social network and build the confidence that can lead to continued sports participation and employment.
More than 2,800 people took part in the program in its first year, with a quarter of all participants reporting they had subsequently gained work or had their work hours increased, while a similar number had undertaken further skills‑based training.
In an unprecedented show of support for women’s elite sport, an injection of $101.1 million will help establish the Home of the Matildas along with a State Rugby Union Centre at La Trobe University’s Bundoora Sports Park.
This major Victorian Government investment is supported by $15 million from the Commonwealth Government and follows an investment of $1.5 million in the last Budget for planning works for the precinct.
The Home of the Matildas is designed to include a show pitch with grandstand seating, four additional pitches and high‑performance facilities including a gymnasium and wet recovery area, medical and rehabilitation centre, meeting areas and player lounge.
Having a permanent base for the national women’s soccer team will be a significant boost for Matildas captain Sam Kerr and her teammates as they prepare for the 2023 World Cup, which will be contested at Melbourne’s AAMI Park and other stadiums in Australia and New Zealand.
“The Home of the Matildas will be a game‑changer for women’s soccer in this country and we’re proud that it will be built in Melbourne’s north,” Martin Pakula, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, said.
The Bundoora complex will also provide a home base for Football Victoria with administrative space, function rooms and match‑day facilities.
In a further step towards supporting equality in sport, the Government has allocated $250,000 to commission a statue of an iconic female netball identity at John Cain Arena.
The Budget backs top‑level athletes in a range of other sports. As preparations heighten for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Government will invest $24.5 million to fund significantly expanded operations at the Victorian Institute of Sport to nurture our next generation of sporting stars.
This will more than double the current $6.7 million annual contribution towards the VIS over the next three financial years, allowing the Institute to build on its renowned programs for elite competitors and attract and retain quality coaches.
Funding is provided and held in central contingency for a range of AFL/AFLW and VFL infrastructure and community projects including Gosch’s Paddock upgrade (Melbourne FC), Kennedy Community Centre Dingley (Hawthorn FC) and Downer Oval (Williamstown Seagulls FC). Release of funds from contingency will be subject to finalisation of project scopes and funding profiles, and decisions regarding AFLW expansion.
for more information visit the Victorian Budget 2021/22