Funding boost lights up Waverley City Soccer Club

Waverley City Soccer Club will have a new home ground advantage for the growing number of football participants within the community.

Home ground to well-established amateur football club Waverley City Soccer Club (formerly FC CityLife), Milpera Reserve in Wantirna, has received new competition grade lighting after Knox City Council helped secure a $125,000 funding boost through the Victorian Government’s 2019-20 World Game Facilities Fund.

As many clubs and leagues around the state return to training and competition with the recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the funding provides a timely and vital boost for grassroots clubs like Waverley City Soccer Club who depend on their facilities for training and season fixtures.

Club President Kevin Tan said the new lights will provide an opportunity for members to train in the evenings and host some night games throughout the season.

“These games will also help with fundraising efforts by the club. The new lights, along with other recent facility upgrades, will help continue to grow participation and the club thanks Council and the Victorian Government for its continued support,” said Tan.

Formed in 2007 as a group of friends looking to play football together on Saturday afternoons, Waverley City Soccer Club has grown significantly in recent years and now fields four senior mens’ teams, two senior womens’ teams, five junior boys’ teams and one junior girls’ team.

Currently with 172 members, the installation of new state-of-the-art 100-lux LED lighting will provide a home ground advantage for Waverley City Soccer Club to expand further with additional junior boys’ and girls’ teams.

Mayor, Cr Lisa Cooper, from Knox City Council said the number of children taking up soccer in Knox is fantastic.

“There are so many new teams, and every team needs a suitable space to train and play. The Victorian Government’s World Game Facilities Fund is helping us keep up with growth in the sport locally.

“Training and match standard lighting enables more teams to train and play in the evening but it can be expensive, and the grants are helping us complete the upgrades  more quickly than Council could find the budget for on our own.

“The LED lighting is energy-efficient and focuses the light on the pitch so  it doesn’t spill into surrounding backyards.” Lisa said.

The new lighting will build on upgrade works currently in progress at Milpera Reserve, which include the installation of a new surface (sustainable warm-season grass), a new irrigation system, drainage system, new fencing and goals.

The World Game Facilities Fund is a $20 million state-wide Victorian Government investment program that funds the development of high-quality, accessible community football infrastructure.  Funding assists local football clubs and organisations to upgrade existing facilities or develop new facilities across Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria to support the sustainability and growth of football.

Grants of up to $500,000 are available for Local Government Authorities and Alpine Resort Boards to deliver projects including sports lighting, turf pitch developments, synthetic pitches and female friendly change rooms and pavilions.

Since 2018, the fund has invested $13.2 million in 48 game-changing infrastructure projects with a total value of more than $41 million. The next round of the World Game Facilities Fund will open for applications in August 2021.

To find out more visit the World Game Facilities Fund webpage.