After a heavily disrupted start to the season due to wet weather, Northern Suburbs Football Association and West Pymble FC are looking forward to the synthetic field upgrade set to commence at Norman Griffiths Oval.
The home of West Pymble, Norman Griffiths Oval has long struggled with drainage and grass coverage. Ku-ring-gai Council identified the field as a suitable location for a synthetic conversion over five years ago and after several revisions to the plans the project is due to begin construction next month.
It comes after a 2022 season significantly affected by rain throughout the first half of the year – the full field at Norman Griffiths Oval has only been open for one weekend of senior football fixtures this season. NSFA and West Pymble have been able to utilise part of the playing surface for junior football matches on six weekends, still only half of the competition weeks available so far this season.
Ku-ring-gai region grounds have suffered significantly during 2022, with the following fields unable to see any training or match usage this season:
- Primula Oval
- Kent Oval
- Barra Brui
- George Christie
- Loyal Henry
- The Glade Main field & Midi
- Ku-ring-gai High School
“This season our playing community has lost hundreds of hours of physical activity due to ground closures brought on by wet weather,” explained NSFA CEO Edward Ferguson.
“The synthetic field and lighting upgrade at Norman Griffiths Oval would triple the number of hours the field can be used per week, in addition to essentially eliminating wet weather closures.”
“With our player numbers expected to grow to 20,000 by the year 2026, this upgrade is essential to allow our community the opportunity to continue playing their chosen sport.”
West Pymble FC are equally excited by the prospect of the Norman Griffith Oval redevelopment as their female participation numbers soar, reaching 35% of total club numbers in 2022. The Club’s new strategic plan puts into focus their community, football development and providing all players access to football year-round. WPFC have been active in their support of the local referees association by hosting their pre-season courses and since 2006 have conducted their own Special Needs football program.
As a Club, West Pymble FC will be contributing over $850,000 to the project through member funds and grants as part of the Asian Cup Legacy fund, alongside NSFA’s $125,000 contribution. This investment from the Club and Association demonstrates the commitment football is willing to make towards Council grounds to create better community facilities and assets for the future.
As the football season comes to an end, we cannot wait for Round 1, 2023 as the yellow and blue ribbon is cut and community users get to kick off the Women’s World Cup year with a fantastic community facility.
The NSFA would like to thank Ku-ring-gai Council and Councillors for supporting this project over the years and meeting the demands of their local community.
Ku-ring-gai Council is developing a recreation needs study to help plan the facilities and services that are needed to support community recreation. As a first step they are seeking stakeholder and community feedback about recreation in Ku-ring-gai so they can plan to accommodate the needs of our diverse and changing community.