TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide. Our…read more
Lack of sporting fields sees young footballers turned away from junior clubs
The critical shortage of playing fields across NSW has become so desparate that some football clubs have been forced to turn away many budding young footballers.
Football NSW today advised of the situation being experienced by the Sutherland Shire Football Association, the sport’s biggest association in Sydney with more than 18,000 players, that has had to put eligibility criteria in place due to the shortage of facilities and local demand to play.
Football NSW Chief Executive, Stuart Hodge stated “it’s a sad day when you are forced to say no to a young boy or girl who just wants to join a club and play the game with their friends - it’s not fair but in some cases, we simply don’t have the capacity anymore.”
To address the future of the game Football NSW, Football Northern NSW and Capital Football have undertaken a comprehensive NSW/ACT facilities audit to determine the current state of play, develop a plan for the future and provide decision-makers with a clear picture of where there is the greatest need.
A key finding of the 10-month audit was that, based on current participation and annual growth rates, by 2030 Football in NSW will be 700 pitches short and will need to work with Councils and Governments to find additional fields of play for as many as 120,000 participants.
The findings demonstrated that 45% of all pitches had no irrigation and/or drainage, resulting in pitches becoming unplayable. Loss of training nights and match days in some areas is as much as 25% resulting in a less enjoyable football experience and uneven competitions when many matches are cancelled.
The most comprehensive report of its kind also found that;
• Just 54 pitches are synthetic
• 32% of playing grounds have no lighting
• 42% have lighting which is considered inadequate for football
• Only 41% of playing fields have irrigation and drainage
• 45% have no irrigation at all
The data also provides a clear indication of which are the priorities in each association, club, venue, facility and the estimated cost of works.
Hodge said the greatest need is for synthetic fields and floodlights, adding “this will ensure year-round use, not just for football but it will also allow us to collaborate with other sports.
“Every football field from Byron Bay to Albury has been audited with some astounding results."
Football is the biggest participation sport in the State with more than 350,000 players registered to play the world game this year across NSW.
They will play across 1,000 sites and 2,284 pitches, with an average of 155 players using each football field across a season.
In some areas, like the Sutherland Shire, the ratio of players-to-pitches is as high as 280 to 1.
Northern NSW Football Chief Executive, David Eland, has urged the NSW Government to provide the necessary support from the $1 billion Regional Development Fund, commenting that the lack of quality and quantity of football fields could prevent further growth of the game.
Eland stated “football engages with so many individuals in every suburb across NSW, therefore facilities at the grassroots levels are so crucial, and we need action now.
“For football, indeed any sport, facilities are the lifeblood of the local community, and improving the quality and increasing the quantity of infrastructure across NSW will see social and health benefits filter through to all participants.”
Images (from top): A worn out golamouth at Fraser Park FC (now replaced by a synthetic surface), Stuart Hodge and Manly United's synthetic surface at Cromer Park is put to use.
1st November 2018 - Community impact of football in NSW to reach $1 billion by 2025
22nd April 2018 - NSW leads nationwide efforts to encourage children’s activity
13th April 2018 - Sport NSW welcomes NSW Government funding for community facilities
11th April 2018 - Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council opens new synthetic football field
10th April 2018 - Football NSW commences Facilities Audit
2nd March 2018 - Football NSW launches 2018 facilities audit
17th November 2017 - New AusPlay figures show football leads sport participation rates in Australia
8th December 2015 - FFA survey shows boom in football participation
21st August 2015 - Warringah Council opens two synthetic sports fields
30th July 2014 - Sutherland Shire backs multiple synthetic sports field installations
17th April 2011 - Northbridge FC Synthetic Surface beats Sydney rain
8th December 2010 - First Installations of zero infill long pile synthetic turf
24th August 2010 - New campaign highlights benefits of club sports for kids
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…read more
Since 1989 Elite Pool Covers have designed and manufactured an extensive range of high quality affordable manual,semi-automatic and fully-automatic pool cover systems for the harsh Australian…read more
METRA Australia is your innovation partner for smart electronic locking, Access Control solutions and cashless payment systems to suit all types of leisure facilities. Our team’s…read more
SICO is at the forefront in innovative mobile folding and rolling, space efficient tables, stages, dance floors and many other products which help our customers optimise their use of space. Image…read more
Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…read more
Talk To Us For Independent Advice & Specialised Services We're business people, not sales reps IP HUB is one of Australia’s leading advisors on telecoms for both small businesses and…read more
Sports Padding At Rae-Line we manufacture high quality sports padding, gym mats, foam mats and protective padding, suitable for a range of different facilities. Our sports padding is…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!