AFL kicks in $100,000

AFL Victoria is providing $100,000 towards the multi-million dollar Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct sports fields at New Gisborne.
Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the AFL’s backing is very significant, as it is the first external funding commitment to the major project.
There was jubilation at Gardiner Reserve in Gisborne on Thursday evening as AFL Victoria’s strategy, government and infrastructure manager Shayne Ward made the announcement before a gathering of vitally interested parties.
Mr Ward said the AFL was very impressed with the project, with the state-of-the-art synthetic sports field designed to provide three times the usage of a normal ground.
He said there were only 15 such ovals in Australia, and the AFL was keen to see the sports precinct go ahead to service the Macedon Ranges and beyond.
The shire council’s recreation and sport manager Rod Clough opened formalities, and welcomed all in attendance including Rod Ward and Carol Cathcart (respective AFL Goldfields and AFL Central general managers), shire officers and councillors, Mary-Anne Thomas MP, and representatives of various Gisborne area sporting clubs and the regional sports precinct working group.
Cr Bill West and Gisborne Football Netball Club president John Wood spoke briefly, praising the AFL for its initiative and recognition of the need for such a project in this area.
Mr Wood said it was not only Gisborne senior and junior clubs that would benefit, as other Riddell League football netball clubs such as Macedon, Romsey and Woodend-Hesket would be able to use the facilities.
The precinct is planned to provide two new sports fields including the all-weather synthetic oval, associated infrastructure, passive recreation facilities and a regional sports hub (indoor sports courts) to complement a regional outdoor netball complex currently on site.
External funding from state and federal governments is vital if the project is to become a reality.
The AFL Victoria funding is one of only a very few allocations by the AFL across the state and is a rarity from state sports associations.
“This fantastic commitment will help council and our community in our advocacy to federal and state governments and other organisations,” 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 mayor said.

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