The New Change Room Project at Ferny Grove Falcons Football Club has been named the Qld Winner in the AFL’s Ken Gannon Community Football Facilities Awards.
This comes as The Lakelands Park Sporting Complex in Western Australia was announced as the overall winner of the National Project of the Year as part of the annual awards.
Lakelands Park is a $7.9m project with 10 hectares of open space in the City of Mandurah, located in the Peel region, south of metropolitan Perth. There are three senior reserves, competition-standard lighting to all three ovals, AFL goal posts and an inclusive district level sports facility that meets AFL guidelines.
The development benefits the North Mandurah Junior and Senior Football Clubs as well as the local community.
The Ken Gannon Awards recognise best practise in community football facility development across Australia, along with the people, clubs and other stakeholders driving the best projects.
These awards are funded by the AFL’s Australian Football Facilities Fund which partners on $50M worth of community football facility projects benefitting more than 100 clubs each and every year.
The announcement of the Lakelands Park project winning the national category of the Ken Gannon Awards came on the same day as the launch of the new WA Football Facilities Fund, with the AFL and the West Australian Football Commission partnering and each committing $1m to enhancing facilities in the west.
Ken Gannon Awards 2021 – State & Territory winners (with total project cost):
WA (National Winner): Lakelands Park Sporting Complex, $7,900,000
NSW/ACT: Community Clubrooms for AFL in the Northwest – Pennant Hills Demons AFC, $2,080,000
NT: Santa Teresa Oval Project, $811,500
Qld: Ferny Grove Falcons – New Change Room Project, $1,100,000
SA: Norwood Oval Redevelopment, $10,682,500
Tas: Brighton Regional Sports Pavilion, $6,480,000
Vic: Coburg City Oval Redevelopment, $6,715,000
AFL Executive General Manager of Game Development, Rob Auld, said: “The winners of the Ken Gannon Awards are remarkable examples of best-practice development that benefit the game and communities across Australia.
“The AFL is proud of its investment into the game and the facilities we use. We are currently involved in more than 200 facilities projects in development or underway across the country at all levels of the game, from elite through to grassroots. The scale of facilities development benefiting football is unprecedented and is due to the growth of the game nationally, particularly in female football.
“Significant support from all levels of government is needed to make projects like these happen, which align strongly to the AFL’s aim of providing well-positioned, welcoming, accessible, fit-for-purpose football facilities that support our growing game’s strategic priorities.
“With participation growth, and the ongoing surge in the popularity of football for women and girls, the planning and development of fit-for-purpose infrastructure plays a vital role in ensuring the game can continue to cater for everyone who wants to be involved.
“To cater for growth in the game, the AFL aims to develop one new oval per week for the next five years, which will result in 250 new football ovals across the country in that time.
“The Lakelands Park project is an incredible example of stakeholders across government, local communities, sporting bodies and the AFL coming together to deliver an outcome that will have a major impact on the game in the region. I congratulate all those involved in Lakelands Park, as well as the other State and Territory winners, who can be very proud of what’s been achieved.”
About the AFL Ken Gannon Community Football Facilities Awards
The Ken Gannon Community Football Facilities Awards recognise best-practice facility development across the country. The awards are assessed by looking at the impact a project has consistent with the AFL’s aim of providing well positioned, welcoming, fit-for-purpose football facilities that support our growing game’s strategic priorities.
AFL state and territory bodies identify their best community football facilities project of that year according to that criteria, which then places that project in the running for the National Award, pending assessment by the AFL National Facilities Panel in conjunction with Ken Gannon.
Ken Gannon had a decorated career across many areas of the game, including as Chief Executive of the Geelong Cats and AFL Victoria. Ken spent much of the last decade of his career developing the AFL’s interest and partnerships in the community facilities space, leading outcomes related to more than 800 community football facility projects in that period.