More support for up-and-coming sporting events and extra facilities to cater for the growing popularity of grassroots soccer will soon become a reality, following a $3.9 million funding boost announced in today’s Victorian Budget.
Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty said a Victorian Coalition Government $2.4 million package would see the continuation of the Significant Sporting Events Program over the next two years, and a further $1.45 million would help to improve soccer facilities over the next year.
“These two programs both have huge potential to help achieve our goal of providing more opportunities for people to participate in sport,” Mr Delahunty said.
“The Significant Sporting Events Program is not only about attracting and supporting international, national and regionally important events, it’s also about building participation opportunities and showcasing less prominent sports.
“Likewise, our continued investment in soccer will help to cater for the staggering 40 per cent increase in registered players participating in Football Federation Victoria competitions since 2007.
“This new funding will go a long way towards not only enhancing Victoria’s enviable events calendar, but also maintaining our commitment to encouraging the boom in community soccer,” Mr Delahunty said.
Mr Delahunty said both programs had a track record of delivering valuable economic and community development outcomes for Victorians, particularly in regional areas.
“The Budget sets out a clear plan to meet our challenges and position Victoria to take full advantage of current and future opportunities.
“The extension of the Significant Sporting Events Program will mean more support for up-and-coming events which encourage more people to participate in sport, while attracting visitors from Victoria and interstate,” Mr Delahunty said.
“I’ve had a first-hand opportunity to see the funding in action at events such as the Australian Athletics Championships, the World Ice Hockey Championships, the 2011 Amy’s Gran Fondo, and the 2012 Water Polo Pan Pacifics.
“Our $1.45 million investment will continue the Coalition Government’s support for soccer facilities across Victoria, including funding for projects like the Spring Gully and Strathfieldsaye synthetic pitches, which I recently announced,” Mr Delahunty said.