Victoria Point Sharks Sporting Club get $485,000 boost for female players from federal government

THUMBS UP: Giving the $485,000 infrastructure grant a thumbs up are (front) Matilda Williams, Justin Stone and Ashleigh Callaway, and (back) Nic Aldridge and Phil Carse.
THUMBS UP: Giving the $485,000 infrastructure grant a thumbs up are (front) Matilda Williams, Justin Stone and Ashleigh Callaway, and (back) Nic Aldridge and Phil Carse.

IN A BOOST for the participation of women in footy, the Victoria Point Sharks Sporting Club will get new change-rooms, thanks to a $485,000 federal government grant.

Bowman MP Andrew Laming said the Commonwealth contribution from the $30 million Community Sport Infrastructure Program would fund the entire cost of construction.

Victoria Point Sharks Junior Australia Football Club president Justin Stone said the number of females in the club had grown from just two in 2016 to 92 last year.

“The Sharks are projecting well over 115 girls participating in footy in 2019,” Mr Stone said.

“The Sharks has currently got the highest female youth football participation levels in Queensland.

“Our girls program has exploded thanks to our wonderfully dedicated volunteers and their vision for female football at the Sharks.”

Mr Stone said the Sharks would introduce senior women’s football next year.

“With the steep incline in the number of females participating in football at our club, we’ve been rallying hard to get grant funding for female-friendly change rooms so our club can give each of our girls a great facility to utilise for training and game day,” Mr Stone said.

Mr Laming said there was plenty of catching up to do with female sporting facilities.

“But the Sharks will have their first senior female team in years next year and this ensures they won’t be sharing change-rooms,” Mr Laming said.

“Australia’s prowess as a sporting nation begins with grassroots sports which is why we have focused our investment on well-reputed sporting organisations like Sharks.

“As outlined in the National Sports Plan, Sport 2030, grassroots sports help drive increased participation and promote social, health and community benefits of physical activity and sport – a key priority for our government.”

Mr Stone said the change-rooms would be built under AFL female football guidelines and would have individually cubicled showers and bench space around the wash basins.

“This modern facility will also benefit the two affiliated senior men’s teams including the Victoria Point Sharks and the Redland Bombers, the latter of which plays in the NEAFL competition against teams like the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns,” Mr Stone said.

“It’s a huge win for footy in the region and we can’t wait to unveil it later this year.”