19 JANUARY 2023

Upgrading changing rooms for female players at Jelbart Park will be a priority after a $150,000 funding boost for Albury United Soccer Club facilities was announced on Thursday morning.

Club president Justin Stevens said the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicking off in Australia in July was expected to spur big growth in participation in the sport.

“Our female facilities are lacking very much compared to the likes of AFL and netball, we’re well and truly behind,” Mr Stevens said.

“We’ll see a big growth in our sport and that’s why all clubs need to act now to secure their own clubs and try to help to build the sport.

“In Victoria, they’re doing really well over there sort of leaving NSW behind with their facilities.

“Here [facilities for females are] lacking partitions for their showers – any male can walk into those change rooms and it’s a bit confronting especially when you have a 14-year-old who wants to try to get changed.

“In this day and age we should be a bit more advanced when it comes to females in sport, but also our males as well, young boys.”

Mr Stevens said upgrading the scoreboard was also a huge bonus for the complex.

“We’re seeing plenty of other sporting codes have their scoreboards so it’s good to be able to see soccer be able to progress and keep up to date with the rest,” he said.

Albury MP Justin Clancy said the Jelbart Park funding was part of a $3.1 million statewide program involving 100 projects.

He said the funding at Jelbart Park would be used to upgrade change facilities, an electronic scoreboard, new field lighting towers, pitch resurfacing, and drainage.

“With the 2023 women’s world cup coming up, a big part of that is making a contribution across the sport to develop football,” Mr Clancy said.

“Albury United have been successful in graining $150,000 which is fantastic news.

“It reflects the hard work of the club – not just for soccer but a number for sports played at Jelbart Park.

“Jelbart Park is something that we want grow as a local family sporting destination.

“Sport is part of the fabric of our community and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this program has on local football at all levels.”

  • Jelbart Park, Lavington, Albury United Soccer Club

PICTURE: The Border Mail (File Picture)