The Sydney Swans’ vision for an AFLW team will be realised after the Federal Government committed $15 million funding to the new Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre.
The $55 million project to transform the Royal Hall of Industries at Moore Park will deliver dedicated facilities for a Sydney Swans AFLW team, a new home for the NSW Swifts netball team, as well as allowing for the expansion of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy youth girls and boy programs to more than 1,000 participants.
Treasurer the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP and Minister for Sport Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie announced the funding at the SCG on Tuesday.
“This is a significant day for AFL in New South Wales because it paves the way for the Sydney Swans to have a women’s team,” Sydney Swans CEO Tom Harley said following the announcement.
“Facilities have been the key barrier to us entering the AFLW competition – simply put, we had nowhere to house a team and we strongly believe that an elite women’s team deserves elite facilities.
“The Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre means that young girls can join young boys in aspiring to pull on the red and white jumper.
“Furthermore, speaking as a father, I’m looking forward to my daughter having even more strong female role models to look up to.”
The Treasurer said the money is not contingent on the election result, but rather has already been allocated in the Federal Budget.
“This funding will create state-of-the art facilities for a Sydney Swans AFLW team, for the NSW Swifts netball players, as well as a host of other organisations,” Treasurer Frydenberg said.
“The facility will be used by the broader community and elite athletes. It’s an initiative that the Commonwealth is very happy to support and it’s only possible because we have a strong economy.”
The Minister for Sport said the new facility will provide necessary infrastructure to grow women’s sport.
“Importantly for young athletes, it will provide a pathway for a locally home-grown Sydney AFLW team,” Senator McKenzie said.
“It will mean young women can come to their local grounds and see the champions that they want to aspire to be in the future.”
In addition to the Sydney Swans and the NSW Swifts, the Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre will be home to the QBE Sydney Swans Academy, the GO Foundation, the Clontarf Foundation, and an Australian Red Cross Blood Service donor centre.
The development will include an international standard netball court, which will be available for use by senior teams, junior development programs and open community access.
The Swans and Swifts will expand their school and outreach programs, taking health and wellbeing education to more than 5,000 children annually.
Importantly, the revitalisation of the precinct will deliver a new space for the whole community to enjoy.