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Football NSW Facilities Forum underpins drive to improve facilities

November 17, 2014

Valentine Sports Park in Western Sydney yesterday (14th November) played host to Football NSW’s inaugural Facilities Forum as members of the football family in NSW along with various council representatives took in presentations, panel discussions and shared their views on a wide variety of facilities topics.

Subjects including synthetic fields, grass turf maintenance, grants, how to go engage with local councils, project management, facility safety issues, risk management and legal updates all featured on day that was seen as a landmark date for football.

Presentations from a number of leading experts also took place with Smart Connection Consultancy’s Martin Sheppard, Aver Project Management Director David Riddell and Tony O’Reilly from law firm Kennedys all discussing their views on their dedicated areas.

JLT Sport's Kristen Mills, Workcover Authority of NSW's Sonya Jenkins, NSW Office of Sport and Recreation's John Egan, Labosport Australasia's Keith McAuliffe and NSW Office of Sport and Recreation's Miguel Andrade also presented on the day.

Football NSW Chief Executive Eddie Moore expressed his commitment in achieving the organisation’s vision on growing, developing and promoting the game by supporting members, stakeholders and the football family through effective governance as well as strong leadership, transparent communication, professional administrations and clear strategic direction.

Moore explained “our members face real challenges at all levels of the game to access enough facilities of the right quality to play.

“They have called for better resources and guidance in relation to accessing, maintaining and developing facilities.

“We acknowledge improved facilities guidance is critical to adding value to our members as facilities underpin our ability to make a world class football nation and to improve football excellence.

“Facilities not only enable growth in the game, they also enable broader community development ensuring communities have adequate spaces where people can actively and safely engage in sport and recreation can provide improved social health, educational and cultural outcomes for all.”

Football NSW Facilities Development Manager Ricardo Piccioni was delighted with the outcome the first ever facilities forum provided to all its members who attended what was an insightful outlook on such a talked about topic.

Piccioni stated “with over 100 delegates in attendance, including representatives from our metropolitan and regional associations, branches, clubs, local cCouncils and State Government,  I feel the first Football Facilities Forum was a huge success.

“The key words at the event were Communication, Education and Collaboration, and the whole purpose of bringing a wide range of members of the football family together was to collectively share our learning, knowledge and experiences.

“Football NSW is totally committed to improving the football experience of all players, referees, coaches and administrators through the provision of better facilities, and we will only ever achieve this with the full engagement of all parties, including government at Local, State and Federal level.

“We look forward to building on the success of this Forum, and ensuring that as the most popular sport in NSW, Football receives the support and funding it deserves.”

Along with Ricardo Piccioni, FNSW’s Head of Member Services and Legal Counsel Lorenzo Crepaldi also saw the many benefits the facilities forum provided in his area of involvement.

Crepaldi concluded “in dealing with local and state government and private service providers, our members face many complex legal issues. 

“Football NSW recognises this and occasions such as these are an important way for Football NSW to provide its members with guidance and assistance as well as an opportunity for members to share their own experiences and provide Football NSw with valuable feedback.”

A recent Football NSW Facilities Strategy was put together to set out a long term vision and plan to grow, develop and promote facilities to support football at all levels.

Through the strategy, FNSW will look to provide support to enable local challenges to be resolved locally through a consistent approach as associations and clubs need support to meet their local facility challenges to ensure the sport have appropriate places to play.

Best practice Risk Management processes, in forming a fundamental priority for Football NSW over the last three years, was also another key theme emerging from what was a memorable day for the code in this state.

A major upgrade of Football NSW’s Valentine Sports Park (pictured) is currently nearing completion.




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