It’s been a long time coming, but the grandfather of Wentworth Falls Football Club Graeme Paterson will finally get the clubhouse he and many others at the club have long dreamed of.
This month Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres announced the club’s $150,000 grant application was successful, meaning the decades old “tardis”, built from bits of tin and wood from the old tennis club in Wilson Park, can finally be sledgehammered and replaced with a brand new facility.
The club, which has 750 members because of a winter and summer season, is delighted by the news which will give them a new canteen, storage and change rooms at Upper Pitt Park.
With the accrued proceeds of decades of “sausage sandwiches sales”, seven-a-side summer football, funding from Blue Mountains Council allocated in next year’s Asset Works Program and the state government funds, the new clubhouse will be underway soon, Mr Paterson said.
“We’ve applied for many grants and never got them. We are in shock,” Ms Tarlinton, a former club president, said.
“Our children are long gone, Graeme’s kids have got kids but we [the long-term executive] didn’t feel we could stop and leave it for someone else to have to finish.”
“It’s been a collective dream that has been ongoing … apart from the functional aspect, the clubhouse provides a sense of place for a giant family that’s spanned generations.”
Ms Tarlinton said the money meant the club could also finally install better and safer toilets at the grounds.
Ms Tarlington said she would like to see the clubhouse named after Trish and her husband Nick Samios, or Graeme, who were all long-term club stalwarts coaching, running the club and running the summer seven-a-side program. Trish and Graeme are the longest continuing contributors to the club. She also praised the work of president Dan Lewis “driving the design and his great effort with the grant application”.
There will be no disruption to the season with the main field moved back, a container brought in to hold the equipment and the minis games moved to Lower Pitt Park. Members of the club are due to meet with council to finalise details of the funding matching and building of the clubhouse. The club’s new facility would benefit from a continued 24-hour sponsorship arrangement with Blue Mountains Burglar Alarms.
Blue Mountains Football Club will also receive the full application of $150,000 to upgrade their fields.
Other football clubs across greater western Sydney will also benefit from upgrades worth more than half a million dollars thanks to funding from the successful 2015 Asian Cup Tournament.
Minister for Western Sydney and Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres said the program total of $4 million will be granted to local football clubs across NSW deliver better community facilities for clubs.
“In the last year alone, there has been a 90 per cent increase in football participation in NSW and this program directs the surplus from one of our most successful major events into the sporting facilities so desperately needed by local clubs,” Mr Ayres said.
Football NSW chief executive Stuart Hodge thanked the NSW government for implementing the Legacy Fund which would “go a long way in developing and improving facilities for our clubs to be able to cater for the growth and demands of our game”.
Grassroots football clubs are being invited to apply for grants under the second round of Asian Cup Legacy Funding which opened on November 22.
Projects that are eligible include upgrades or developments to existing pitches, amenities and facilities, including irrigation, seating, canteens, lights, fencing, change rooms and storage spaces.
Applications close March 2, next year. Details to: https://sport.nsw.gov.au/clubs/grants.