New amenities building a big win for special needs football players, carers and referees

22/01/2019

Local football players, including those with special needs and their carers, are set to benefit from an injection of $750,000 in funding from the Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund which will go towards building a new Inclusive Sports Amenities Building at Charles Pirie Reserve.  

Georges River Council is allocating $1 million from General Revenue as part of the 2018-2019 budget, and Mayor Kevin Greene explained the significance of the upgrade.
 
“Charles Pirie Reserve is home to Carss Park Football Club and the special needs program, St George Warriors,” said Mayor Greene.
 
“The program is an innovative, equal access community initiative which provides a fun, inclusive and social environment for players and their families to participate in a modified team format.
 
“The Special Needs Program has grown to four teams in the space of a few short years, and the Charles Pirie Reserve amenities building does not currently comply with minimum standards, provides no access for disabled players or carers, and is located in a flood prone location.
 
“Provision of the new Charles Pirie Reserve Inclusive Sports Amenities Building will result in the St George Warriors program being expanded to adults, with participation likely to increase by 100% in the first year.
 
“Additional Inclusive Regional Football Gala Days are also proposed in late 2019 to include teams from surrounding Council areas that don’t have the opportunity to play together.
 
“The new facility has been designed to meet the needs of everyone, with all areas of the facility to be modified to enable access for players and their carers.
 
“A significant inclusion is the ‘Changing Places’ adult change facility which will benefit both the venue and the community by providing a full-sized change table to

meet the needs of people with disabilities and their families,” added Mayor Greene.
 
Member for Rockdale Stephen Kamper MP in expressing his support for the project, said, "The work the St George Warriors do to engage kids with special needs in sport is absolutely amazing."
 
"It's really a privilege to be able to support these fantastic kids, as well as the other users of the Charles Pirie Reserve facilities,” added Mr Kamper.
 
The new facility will also include a canteen, storage, gender neutral change rooms, referees room, medical room, public amenities and a covered barbeque area which is consistent with objectives laid out in both Council’s Community Strategic Plan and Disability Inclusion Action Plan.
 
An accessible ramp has been incorporated into the design to ensure that all users can access the fields from the new building, which will be relocated away from the flood prone area, allowing greater accessibility.
 
The new building will become the location of a training base for the St George Football Referees Association, who will use a Club Room, providing a training base for Referees as part of their ongoing engagement and training.
 
Construction is expected to commence in February 2019, with the total cost of the new facility approximately $1.75 million.