The South Australian Football Facilities Fund is making significant upgrades to over 40 grassroots footy clubs, with new oval lighting, goalposts, and compliant changerooms being among the improvements. These enhancements are part of a collaboration between the state government, the AFL, and the SANFL, aiming to bolster community football infrastructure.

In the first round of grants, totaling almost $2 million, 42 clubs—representing 17 percent of clubs in SA—have been selected to receive funding. These clubs, consisting of 28 metropolitan and 14 regional projects, will benefit from upgrades valued at $19 million. Key projects include compliant changerooms for players and umpires at five clubs, new oval lighting at 11 clubs, and improved oval surfaces at two clubs.

Additionally, 24 clubs will utilize funding to enhance infrastructure for volunteers, players, officials, and spectators. This includes the installation of new goalposts, backing nets, coaches’ boxes, and scoreboards.

The remaining $6 million of the $8 million funding pool will be allocated over the next two years, with another round of grants expected to open in August. Eligible recipients for funding include Australian rules footy clubs, local councils, umpire associations, and schools or tertiary institutions.

Premier Peter Malinauskas emphasized the long-term impact of Gather Round, stating that it will not only be a celebration of football but also a lasting legacy for South Australia’s social and sporting fabric. He highlighted the fund’s role in delivering better facilities for men, women, girls, and boys across the state.

AFL Chief Executive Andrew Dillon stressed the importance of investing in local clubs and their facilities to provide the best experience for participants. With the goal of reaching one million participants by 2033, investments like these are crucial for fostering a positive environment for players, coaches, volunteers, and umpires alike.

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