AFL chips in

SPORT in the Gisborne area is set to receive a significant boost with funding for multiple projects announced on Thursday.

AFL Victoria representatives visited the town to announce a $100,000 funding commitment to the two sports fields that make up part of New Gisborne’s Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct.

Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the funding commitment is the first to come from outside council for the project.

“This fantastic commitment will help council and our community in our advocacy to federal and state governments and other sporting organisations for funding,” Cr Anderson said.

“It’s great to see the AFL shares our excitement about this project because we need broad support to be able to deliver it and the great benefits it will bring to the region.”

The project combines the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Hub and the New Gisborne Regional Sports Fields projects and will provide the community with two new sports fields, including one all-weather synthetic oval, six indoor courts and the associated infrastructure.

AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper said that the AFL had provided funding to allow AFL Victoria to assist councils and clubs in the development of well-located, accessible and welcoming football facilities to support the growth of the sport throughout Victoria.

“The New Gisborne Regional Sports Fields project is listed as a key priority in both the AFL Goldfields and AFL Central Victoria Regional Facilities Strategies that were recently completed,” Mr Reaper said.

“This project connects strongly to two of our 2017-2022 Football Facilities Development Strategy priorities, namely to plan and develop new facilities in key growth areas across the state, along with ensuring facilities are catering for the diversity of participants, particularly female participants, attracted to our game.”

Female participants could also potentially benefit from state government funding, as council resolved to submit an application to Female Friendly Facilities Funding Program 2018/19 for the Gardiner Reserve Female Friendly Facilities Precinct project at its ordinary meeting on Wednesday night.

While council funding of $630,000 from the 2017/18 and 2018/19 budgets has already been allocated for netball change rooms ($80,000) and football change rooms ($550,000), additional government funding is likely needed to complete the project.