Football West was established in 2004 to represent the combined interests of all levels of competition and aspects of football (soccer) throughout metropolitan and regional Western Australia. The vision of Football West is that football will become a leading sport in Western Australia by increasing participation, managing competitions, providing cohesive pathways from grass roots to elite and providing education, information and technical support for all. A priority in achieving these outcomes is the planning and provision of the necessary supporting infrastructure for football clubs in Western Australia. The Department of Sport and Recreation and local governments receive a large number of funding requests each year from football clubs to improve current infrastructure and therefore have a major role in determining funding priorities.
Unlike some sporting codes, Football West has facility classification guidelines from which they can assess the merits of individual club requests for infrastructure funding. In particular, Football West has a good understanding of the general facilities available to clubs at state league level. However, with the exception of the number of pitches available, information on clubs at lower levels of competition is not as comprehensive. Football West advise the Department annually as part of the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF) review process and this task could be made considerably easier if a database of club facilities was available.
One of the aims of this study, undertaken by Syme Marmion & Co for Football West and the Department is to review and if required develop a classification system within a football hierarchy based on the sustainability of individual clubs that will serve as a basis to plan for future infrastructure provision and upgrades. This will ensure those clubs that currently have facilities below the agreed classification system will be given priority for upgrade expenditure over clubs that already meet the guidelines.
The development of a football club hierarchical classification will be linked to current demographic profiles from which an ideal demographic profile will be determined and this will allow the development of a strategic plan for the provision of future club facilities for 5 years and 10 years hence.
There are some 134 football clubs (plus the Peel Junior Soccer Association) in Perth and Peel with over 23,168 players. Western Australia has a high population growth rate with some areas growing faster than any other areas in Australia. Hence there are some districts in Western Australia that will have naturally occurring demand for more football facilities even if participation rates remain constant. In order to address this planned increase Football West needs to ascertain the standard and capacity of existing club, regional and district infrastructure, determine where the planned increase will occur and then ensure changes to existing infrastructure are made to accommodate the planned increase. This study, which will effectively be a Football Facilities Strategic Plan for Football West, will address these future infrastructure needs.
The overall study is divided into five stages:
- Stage 1 – Policy Report
- Stage 2 – Needs Assessment Report
- Stage 3 – Facility Review and Development.
This report, the Needs Assessment Report, is the second report in the study and covers the following areas of enquiry and determination:
- Football West Mission
- Education Department Facilities
- Facilities Classification
- Outcomes of Consultation
- Overview of current facility standards
- Profile of trends of existing and potential clients
- Identification of gaps and duplications.
This report has largely been prepared based on the information obtained from questionnaires returned by football clubs, local governments and school principals. Consultation has taken place with the Project Reference Group and further consultation will take place through direct meetings with each of the metropolitan and Peel zones on the information contained in this report and the content may be altered accordingly.