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5th March 2021

Community AFL clubs across Queensland will be the big winners of a new $8 million partnership announced today between the Palaszczuk Government and the Australian Football League (AFL) to increase participation and support the delivery of new facilities.

The partnership will see the AFL match the Palaszczuk Government’s Grand Final Infrastructure legacy funding dollar for dollar.

Community clubs, schools and local Councils can apply for funding to support the delivery of venue improvements such as sports lighting, female friendly change rooms, new AFL fields or upgrades to existing fields.

Member for Nicklin, Robert Skelton MP said sporting clubs on the Sunshine Coast are the heart and soul of our community.

“In a COVID impacted world, community sport is more important than ever before. Football clubs bring people together and provide an environment to not only keep Queenslanders healthy and active but tackle the challenges of mental health, social disconnection, and digital disruption,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity to back AFL in Nicklin. “Alongside our funding to help clubs be ready for sport and our FairPlay vouchers, this is another exciting step in supporting more locals get into sport.

“In 2020, Queensland played a critical role in helping the AFL deliver the 2020 Premiership season and now we want to see our community football clubs, their volunteers and players benefit through improved facilities.

“Since 2014 there has been a massive shift in the profile of players with 42% of all participants now female so it is important, we work together, and with other levels of government, to improve community facilities to cater for all users.”

AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan said having good facilities was key to helping clubs attract and retain players.

“Across Queensland, more females are playing footy than ever before yet in some regional areas just over one quarter of venue facilities are female friendly and less than 45% have adequate lighting,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter if your club is in Cairns, Coorparoo or Coolangatta, we know that if facilities are not up to scratch it makes it more challenging to attract and retain players.

“We are an inclusive sport, our female pathways now run from Auskick through to the elite game and we need to continue to improve this imbalance while delivering new greenspace in areas where growth is occurring.

“Off the back of the historic year that saw Queensland become the unofficial home of the AFL, it’s fantastic to be partnering with the Queensland Government on this initiative which will deliver benefits to many clubs over the coming years.

“On behalf of the AFL, I want to again say thank you to the Queensland community who threw their support behind our game in 2020.”

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