Photo: Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC onsite at National Park Sportsground with Cooks Hill Committee Member David Morley and Cooks Hill Facilities Manager Lee Bateman.
Cooks Hill United Football Club in Newcastle has secured $85,010 in funding from the NSW Liberal National Government’s Asian Cup Legacy Fund to improve their local football facilities.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC said that the grant will improve facilities at a local level in Cooks Hill for NSW’s largest club based sport.
“With the population of Newcastle forecast to grow to over 810,000 residents by 2036, improving facilities at a local level will help to increase participation in football,” Mr MacDonald said.
Cooks Hill United Football Club will put the funding towards the regrade and laser levelling, installation of drainage and re-turfing of the surface of the National Park Sportsground No. 4 field.
Cooks Hill Facilities Manager Lee Bateman said the awarding of the grant was a fantastic result for the largest inner city club in Newcastle on the Clubs 20th anniversary year.
“We have over 1000 players who will directly benefit from this grant, and it will immeasurably improve the surface where the grass roots, community level of our club trains and plays” Mr Bateman said.
Northern NSW Football CEO, David Eland said, “The 16 recipients of funding in Round One will greatly benefit with improvements ranging from amenity upgrades to a new synthetic pitch”.
“These clubs will now be able to meet the needs of their members by providing more appropriate facilities to enable participants to play football more consistently throughout the year in safe and inviting settings.”
The booming popularity of football is already bringing communities together, and now players at all levels again benefit from the success of the 2015 Asian Cup.
Football is the largest club based sport in Australia and NSW with recent AusPlay statistics highlighting that there are over 660,000 football participants in NSW and over 1 million players nationally. The number of female players in Northern NSW has increased by almost 50% in the last 5 years.
“Through the allocation of surplus funding from the elite level Asian Cup in 2015 to community football, it ensures that we continue to see Australia succeeding on the international stage, while getting kids more active at the same time” Mr MacDonald said.
“Players, referees, coaches and administrators of all ages and abilities are set to benefit from the fund which will magnify the social, health, educational and cultural benefits our game brings to society”.