Football Needs an #EQUALISER – North Turramurra

Football Needs an #EQUALISER – North Turramurra

Northern Suburbs FA were delighted to welcome Federal candidates for Bradfield and football VIPs to North Turramurra Recreation Area (NTRA) on Sunday to raise awareness of the #EQUALISER campaign and the lack of suitable sports amenities on offer to the local community.

Football Australia’s #EQUALISER campaign has been launched ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which touches down on Australian soil in 2023. FA are raising awareness to all tiers of Government and sporting groups as to the state of sportsfield amenities throughout the country, with only 23% of NSW changerooms providing gender neutral, safe facilities.

Federal Labor Candidate David Brigden, Sarah Hart (representative for Federal Independent candidate Nicolette Boele), and Ku-ring-gai Mayor Jeff Pettett were present to hear from the football community.

NSFA Vice-President Hilary Bingham opened the formalities by highlighting the size, growth and innovations NSFA has experienced over the recent seasons, becoming the third largest Association and growing from 22% to 26% female representation in 3 years. With the World Cup around the corner, Hilary emphasised NSFA’s intension to meet our immediate 32% target as we look to achieve 50/50 in the future as part of the What’s Best for Her Strategy.

Stuart Hodge, Football NSW CEO, echoed Hilary’s statistics, noting that growth is anticipated and our facilities are lagging behind. Stuart and Hilary both called for more suitable gender neutral changerooms to create safe environment where players and spectators can change in private, shower in lockable cubicles and have access to toilet amenities inclusively.

NSFA CEO Ed Ferguson spoke directly to the NTRA Development proposal that is currently before Ku-ring-gai Council which aims to create three additional changerooms, 18 additional toilets and create a facility that is multi-use, multi-purpose and multi-sport for the entire community.

NSFA NTRA Development Information

Ku-ring-gai Mayor Jeff Pettett threw his support behind the NTRA Development plans, congratulating NSFA for taking the initiative to submit an application, raise vital funds and be proactive in this space. Mayor Pettett reiterated his Council’s role in providing inclusive and universally designed facilities for the community and applauded football’s efforts to help design, fund and seek alternative funding avenues in support of council’s objectives.

Independent candidate representative Sarah Hart recounted her experiences as a manager of both her children’s football teams. Having a son and daughter, Ms Hart experienced the disparity more than most, with her daughter expected to change in the open, behind cars or left to put up with wet and muddy clothes for the drive home. Ms. Hart highlighted Nicolette Boele’s commitment to local infrastructure and the value sporting groups and participation has for the vitality of the local community.

David Bridgen, Labor Candidate for Bradfield, also recounted his time as a volunteer manager and sideline referee as his children grew up within Ku-ring-gai. David called for greater focus from the Government on achieving their promises, supporting grassroots organisations, and making a lasting change, very much in line with the Legacy motive Football Australia have released.

The afternoon was wrapped up by ex-Matilda captain Julie Dolan. The NSFA were grateful for Julie’s continuing support of female football and shining a light on how little we have progressed since she was a young player learning to play football. Julie’s key message centred around ‘build it and they will come’, as you cannot be what you cannot see. This message rings true in many aspects of community sport with female leadership, representation, and accessibility all vital to growing the game and truly becoming inclusive to all.

Bradfield MP Paul Fletcher was unable to attend the formalities however did visit NTRA earlier in the day to watch local representative team Northern Tigers play. Mr Fletcher reaffirmed his commitment to sports in the region and his fondness of the local football clubs in his electorate which he has come to know well.

NSFA will continue to identify, highlight and advocate for improved facilities and investment from all corners of the community. With changeroom and toilet amenities costing upwards of $800,000 these are not cheap changes, however they can positively impact current and future generations of football participants and the wider community. The NSFA Facilities Strategy aims to achieve this and to increase sportsfield capacity within the region, but relies on the support of Councils, funding support from State & Federal Government and the generosity of its football community via funding initiatives to make dreams come true.

NSFA Facilities Strategy


Play your part today by advocating, voting and making your voice heard as part of the local football community.

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