Funding of $200,000 from the Office for Recreation and Sport (ORS) and more than $250,000 from the City of Charles Sturt will provide the Fulham United Soccer Club with a new permanent change room for female players and umpires, a facelift for the male change room and a dedicated first aid area. This much-needed upgrade will bring the club, which is based just down the road from ORS, into compliance with Football Federation SA’s current requirements.
Each year the ORS receives hundreds of requests for upgrades, improvements and development projects for sporting clubs and organisations across the state. For each successful application, there are dozens from equally deserving clubs that are unsuccessful and sometimes it can take years to gain approval.
The Fulham United Soccer Club, which has been operating out of the Collins Reserve in Kidman Park since 1969, had been seeking funding from any and all sources since 2004 to improve its facilities so it could better serve its growing female membership.
This growth has been tremendous for the club but it has also magnified the flaws in its facilities. For the past three seasons, female players and umpires used portable sheds as change rooms, which were only available for six months of the year. While this arrangement was adequate initially, it was always seen as a temporary solution to a very real problem. The 120 female members have run out of room and the lack of female toilets and shower facilities means the portable buildings are no longer viable.
Romeo Vella, a Grants Sub-Committee member, said, "The construction of the two new change rooms is critical to our club, particularly for the provision of separate facilities for children, men and women. On many game days we have children, men and women all vying for the same change rooms. This is unacceptable from the point of view of providing a safe and secure environment for junior players and women. The new change rooms will be built with women and girls in mind, providing segregated showers."
The project is underway and due to be completed in time for the 2015 football season. You’ve seen the 'before' photo (above); why not check out the renovations in person and support this exciting and growing organisation.
The Fulham United Soccer Club is located at the Collins Reserve, Valetta Road, Fulham Gardens SA 5024.