The GIANTS today thanked the NSW Government following the announcement of a $15 million commitment towards securing the future of community and women’s football in NSW.
The Honorable Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, announced on Sunday at GIANTS Stadium a $15 million investment by the NSW Government to upgrade the existing GIANTS’ training and community centre.
The funding will see an upgrade of Tom Wills Oval, the GIANTS’ training ground, with a view to establishing a dedicated AFLW match venue for Sydney, while also providing a vitally important second-tier facility that will enhance pathways for young male and female athletes.
The upgrade includes the installation of lighting facilities that will ensure the GIANTS’ AFLW program can meet the high performance and training requirements standard to an AFLW team.
GIANTS Chief Executive Officer David Matthews thanked the NSW Government for investing in a project that is central to the development of female and community pathway opportunities.
“This is a significant announcement for our football club and for women’s football in New South Wales,” Mr Matthews said.
“We thank the NSW Government and Minister Stuart Ayres for their continued support of the growth of the GIANTS’ community outreach agenda and our female pathway opportunities.
“This project is imperative for us to continue to grow and expand our training and community facility and invest in a dedicated AFLW stadium right here at Sydney Olympic Park.
“We thank Gillon McLachlan and the AFL for their commitment too and look forward to bringing this project to life.”
The project involves upgrading the existing GIANTS’ training and community centre to address vitally important infrastructure needs that will ensure the existing facility is completed and can operate as a truly world-class high performance and community centre in Western Sydney.
“This project will enable all stakeholders to deliver on our collective objectives of better servicing the communities of Western Sydney and supporting female athlete pathways,” said GIANTS Chairman, Mr Tony Shepherd AO.
“This project provides economically responsible solutions to a host of needs from the grassroots to the elite level.”
The GIANTS are NSW’s first elite women’s AFL team – and are alone in having no dedicated home ground that can be accessed year-round. This funding commitment seeks to address this issue while providing a complete training facility for the GIANTS’ AFL and AFLW programs, as well as youth academies, and Western Sydney community users.
“As this state’s first-ever group of AFLW players, we have a unique opportunity to inspire generations of girls and young women while creating a legacy for female sport more broadly,” said GIANTS AFLW Captain Alicia Eva.
“This facility upgrade will not only give us a home ground at last, but it’s also the next critical step in realising that broader opportunity.”