Deputy Premier John Barilaro said an investment of $750,000 by the NSW Government will ensure players from Regional NSW have the opportunity to showcase their skills in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
“Regional NSW is home to some of the most talented athletes in the country and has a rich history of producing Matildas with more than half of the National team coming from our state’s regions over the past forty years,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This investment from the NSW Government will ensure the next generation of girls and young women in regional NSW have the same level of access to the best coaching and support as their peers in the city as they strive to represent Australia on the world stage.”
The funding will support the establishment of training hubs across the Southern Highlands and Tablelands, South Coast, Riverina, Western NSW and Northern NSW.
Focusing on girls aged between 12 to 18 years old, identified players will be supported through the provision of training camps and player support scholarships, with the added bonus of being tutored by current and former Matildas.
Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the NSW Government is committed to ensuring a lasting legacy from hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 matches.
“We are witnessing an exciting new era in Australian women’s football and this investment will create successful pathways for aspiring girls in Regional NSW who dream of wearing the green and gold,” Mr Lee said.
“With current and former Matildas stars including Ellie Carpenter, Sally Shippard and Amy Chapman all growing up in regional NSW, this program will establish a pathway for aspiring Matildas in their local communities.”
The Deputy Premier and Minister Lee joined Member for Albury Justin Clancy to launch the talent identification and youth development program.
“Local and Former Matilda Angela Iannotta made Albury proud back in 1995 when she scored Australia’s first goal at a men’s or women’s World Cup,” Mr Clancy said.
“That pathway from the country to the world stage is something we want to make possible for all young girls in regional NSW and this program will help make dreams come true.”
Football NSW Chief Executive Stuart Hodge said the NSW Government’s investment created a once in a generation opportunity for aspiring female athletes.
“Hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will inspire the next generation of Matildas and with the support of the NSW Government, together with Football Australia and Northern NSW Football, we are committed to providing the best training and development opportunities for our female athletes across regional NSW,” Mr Hodge said.
The initiative will commence with talent identification and the creation of training hubs across the five regions.