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Draft strategy for major sports out for comment

News Article Date: 
Thursday, 15 November 2018

The draft Great South Coast Regional AFL, Cricket and Netball Strategy is now out for public comment.

The draft strategy details a game plan to help guide the development, governance and sustainability of the region’s “big three” sports over the next 15 years.

More than 15,000 people across the five Great South Coast municipalities participate in AFL, cricket and netball.

The draft strategy has identified 37 strategic directions under the following four priorities:

  •          Existing facilities – achieve agreed facility standards and functionality and maximise the use and carrying capacity of existing facilities
  •          Regional facilities and talent pathways – plan and develop regional facilities in key areas, considering regional needs, innovation in facility provision and support for talent pathways, programs and competitions
  •          Build capacity – develop the capacity of clubs, their people and their culture
  •          Enhance relationships – continue to enhance the relationship between AFL, cricket, netball and government in the planning and provision of facilities and programs

The strategy is being developed by the Warrnambool, Moyne, Corangamite, Southern Grampians and Glenelg municipalities in partnership with AFL Victoria, AFL Western District, Netball Victoria and Cricket Victoria.

“Sport plays a vital role in creating a strong, connected communities,” Warrnambool City Council Manager Recreation and Culture Russell Lineham said.

“As well as being three of the most popular participation sports in our region, AFL, netball and cricket clubs often share facilities, so it made sense to look at all three together.

“There are 102 AFL, cricket and netball facilities in our region and all were audited as part of this strategy to see where improvements can be made.

“The highest infrastructure needs emerging from the facility audits are unisex amenities for players and officials and sports lighting improvements.

“Systems and strategies are just important as infrastructure upgrades, and this strategy also aims to tackle issues such as volunteer attraction and retention as well as the strengthening of partnerships between clubs, local governments and sporting bodies.”

Warrnambool and District Cricket Association Chairperson Gordon McLeod said that the strategy helped to ensure that everyone was “pulling in the same direction”.

“The opportunity for the three sports and government to come together through the development of the strategy provided an important opportunity to consider regional and local priorities for facility provision and development of the sports,” he said.

“Ongoing, this approach is important to support the strategy’s implementation and to help foster relationships for the betterment of all three sports.”

AFL Western District General Manager Kate Williamson said that catering for a sharp increase in the number of women playing AFL was a key consideration of the strategy.

“The sports are predominantly utilising the same facilities and there is cross membership between the sports, and this is likely to grow with the expected increases particularly in women’s AFL,” she said.

Warrnambool City Netball Association Administrator Marg Morgan said that clubs and organisations could work together to help more people play a format of the game that suits them.

“We have already begun working with football-netball clubs to provide alternative netball programs and competitions to maximize participation through retaining players currently lost to the sport,” she said.

The draft strategy and feedback form are available at www.warrnambool.vic.gov.au/great-south-coast-afl-cricket-and-netball-strategy

Public submissions close on December 20.

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