The upgrade to Norman Griffiths Oval in West Pymble is gaining pace, with NSFA presenting a $125,000 contribution to the project to Ku-ring-gai Council.
Ku-ring-gai Mayor Dr Cedric Spencer and Councillor Jeff Pettett met with committee members and players from local club West Pymble FC, NSFA President Ian Plant and CEO Edward Ferguson at the field earlier this month to receive the NSFA contribution on behalf of Council.
Council has executed the contract to construct the playing surface, with the aim of commencing work on the site in March 2022.
The total cost of the upgrade is estimated at $3.3 million, with local football clubs contributing around $1 million in total of government grants and club funds.
Mayor Spencer said the long- awaited upgrade would be essential for the Council and sporting groups to manage the expected growth in participation.
“Local football clubs in northern Sydney are predicting the number of players to be 20,000 by the year 2026.
“An all-weather surface for Norman Griffiths Oval is necessary to help manage this level of growth and prevent a huge increase in wear and tear and maintenance costs.”
Despite three months of organised sport being cancelled this year due to COVID, the playing surface at Norman Griffiths Oval remains in poor condition, underlining the importance of the impending conversion to a synthetic playing surface.
The field conversion and associated lighting upgrades will triple the number of hours the field can be used per week, with the added benefit of year-round usage instead of a rest period during summer.
The NSFA player base continues to grow, eclipsing 18,000 players in 2021 and on track to break the 20,000 before 2026 with increasing demand and the upcoming Women’s World Cup in 2023.
NSFA CEO Edward Ferguson underlined the importance of the project for the ongoing development of football within the region.
“The on-site clubhouse pairs brilliantly with the field upgrade for not just match day experience but also refereeing and coaching courses that are run each season.
“The Norman Griffiths project fits into the overall NSFA Facilities Strategy, which aims to increase field capacity approximately 40% by 2032 to meet our growing participation base.”
The funds provided for the project by NSFA are a member contribution from the NSFA Facilities Levy.
Pictured (back row, left to right): NSFA CEO Edward Ferguson, Councillor Jeff Pettett, NSFA President Dr Ian Plant, Mayor Dr Cedric Spencer, WPFC President Kevin Johnson and WPFC Secretary Scott Waugh.