Football NSW today applauded the decision by the City of Ryde Council to waive ground hire costs and urged other councils to also do all they can to support football clubs.
In a fantastic move for the sport of football in the area, City of Ryde Council led by Mayor Clr Jerome Laxale and Councillor Clr Roy Maggio decided that they are waiving ground hire costs for all not-for profit local community sporting clubs with season bookings on their fields for the 2020 season.
The unanimous decision from Council comes as community sport is set to resume from July 1, more than three months after all community sporting matches were suspended as part of COVID-19 restrictions.
The suspension of community sport has had a serious impact on the finances of some local sporting clubs and organisations, with some struggling due to a loss in memberships, sponsors and ongoing fees.
City of Ryde Mayor, Clr Jerome Laxale, said the waiving of ground hire and sports field lighting costs will help ensure local sporting organisations survive the current crisis.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic begun this Council’s intention has been to provide support to those who need it. The waiving of these costs does just that by providing support to those clubs who have been impacted the most by the pandemic. Clr Laxale said.
“By easing a financial burden, our community clubs can now concentrate on resuming play and getting locals back participating in the activities that they enjoy.”
Sporting clubs will need to formally apply with Council to have ground hire and sports field lighting costs waived.
In addition to the waiving of ground hire and sports field lighting costs, Council also unanimously resolved to extend the 2020 winter sports season to mid-October and to activate the lighting at some sports grounds to allow for weekday night games where permissible.
Clr Roy Maggio, who put forward the motion proposing the changes, said he was delighted that Council was supporting the local sporting community.
“Community sport is something I am very passionate about, so I am proud that Council has unanimously agreed to provide assistance to local sporting clubs and organisations, some of whom are doing it extremely tough at the moment,” Clr Maggio said.
Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge highlighted his support for this great move delivered by the City of Ryde Council.
“Well done to the City of Ryde Council for pushing its valued support behind supporting the code in what have been tough times for our sport.
“Decisions such as this from the City of Ryde Council go a very long way to assuring our clubs and players are well supported and will continue to provide significant benefit to the community.”
North West Sydney Football Association CEO Mark Lockie was delighted with the gesture offered by local council.
“NWSF appreciates the support from City of Ryde Council for the Association and our Ryde based clubs in waiving ground hire fees for the season. This will go a long way in alleviating financial pressures facing our clubs this year,” said Lockie.
“Fourteen of our clubs (many founding members) are based in Ryde Council boundaries with well over 6000 players, not including coaches, managers, or affiliated families. As we all know, it has been a very difficult time for many families on reduced incomes, loss of jobs and an uncertain future.
“Our clubs have been similarly affected with reduced registrations, fewer volunteers, little or no sponsorship, no canteen revenue, no fundraising opportunities and a compressed season.
“This decision adds to the positive news recently given the confirmation that our season will be commencing on 4 July and agreement from the Council that we can extend the season into October to enable us to complete a close to normal season for most of our competitions.”
North West Sydney Football clubs rejoiced in the Council’s decision to assist in ensuring they were looked after in what has been a testing period for the code.
“All clubs in the City of Ryde are very excited with the news of the wavier of field hire which will benefit both the association and clubs. We are currently looking at putting this back into our members and supporting some families who are having financial difficulties during these tough times,” said West Ryde President Karen Waud.
“This is great news and a great benefit not only to Ryde Panthers but all clubs in the Ryde area. It is certainly welcome in these difficult times. A huge thank you must go to Councillor Roy Maggio and all of Ryde Council for this decision. It will definitely be helpful in balancing the books in this challenging season,” said Ryde Panthers President Neil Hopkins.
“Putney Rangers FC are grateful to Councillor Roy Maggio on tabling the motion to waiver ground hire fees. The vote was unanimous and we appreciate the initiative and work that City of Ryde and the Councillors are doing to help their community. All the football clubs are not for profit and run by volunteers. This waiver of ground fees helps us immensely in these unprecedented times. We are all in a position where we cannot secure sponsorships and unable to do fundraising so this helps us out fit teams and get them back into the playing fields,” said Putney Rangers President Lina Candy.