Football NSW today praised the decision by the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council to waive ground hire costs in a bid to lessen the financial load placed upon both the Bankstown District Amaetur Football Association and the Canterbury District Soccer Football Association Clubs all of which have been heavily affected by COVID-19.
Hailed as a generous and much needed move for community football in the area, City of Canterbury Bankstown Council led by Mayor Khal Asfour, decided to waive ground hire costs for sporting clubs and associations with seasonal bookings at Council managed sports grounds and facilities for the winter 2020 season.
“I’m really proud to confirm Council is waiving field hire fees and charges for our local sports organisations for this year’s Winter season,” Mayor Khal Asfour said.
“A total of $261,920 will remain with these local organisations and more than 70 per cent of that amount represents our football clubs and associations.
“The Bankstown District Amateur Football Association alone has about 6000 members who play nearly 500 games every weekend. We know football is growing in popularity locally, and waiving these fees and charges will help our grassroots clubs hold on to that growth.
“Collectively it is a huge win for all sporting codes. Our community has 71 clubs and organisations with about 28,900 members in them. I’ve heard their calls for help loud and clear, and our decision means every single club, big or small, has another lifeline at a time when everyone has been hit for six. Every little bit of help counts.
“For many community members, local sport is where they feel the strongest sense of community connection. It’s crucial we see this continue, especially as this pandemic has shown us how big this is for everyone’s wellbeing. We’ll do all we can to protect that for our people.”
Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge further highlighted his support for this great gesture delivered by Canterbury Bankstown Council.
“Well done to Canterbury Bankstown Council for pushing its support behind our code in what have been tough times for the sport.
“Decisions and moves such as this from Canterbury Bankstown Council go a long way to assuring our clubs and players are well supported and will continue to provide a positive and significant benefit to the community.”
Both Bankstown District Football Association’s General Manager Leanne Millar and Canterbury District Soccer Football Association CEO Ian Homes were delighted with the much-needed action offered by local council and echoed their thoughts in a joint statement.
“The CDSFA and BDAFA wish to thank the Mayor, Khal Asfour and the Councillors for their assistance in waiving the seasonal hire fees for the 2020 season.
“This action by the Council has saved community football approximately $180K in operating costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is a recognition by the Mayor and Councillors of the valuable contribution made by the volunteers in community football who work so hard to deliver football to the local community.
“The Council has shown outstanding leadership and the Mayor Khal Asfour has been fully connected with our respective Associations and member clubs during these very challenging times.
“The Council has shown true community spirit and dedication to the many thousands of residents that form the fabric of football in the Canterbury Bankstown Council LGA.”