The AFL is pleased to announce the AFL Community Relief Fund has contributed a further $1.14 million to Kangaroo Island's Western Districts Sports Club to support the rebuild of its community facility following the devastating 2019/2020 bushfires.
The new funding will go towards the rebuild of a new pavilion that will service key football requirements and support the wider community needs in the western region of Kangaroo Island.
The new $4.16-million pavilion will include amenities that will accommodate all four user groups being Australian football, cricket, netball and tennis, meeting rooms for sport and community use, a large commercial kitchen, social spaces, and spectator amenities.
This latest funding announcement brings the total AFL investment to $1.47 million after Western Districts received $324,000 through the AFL Community Relief Fund in April 2020.
This funded the construction of female-friendly Ausco player amenities that was funded in partnership with Cricket Australia and South Australian State Government.
AFL general manager of operations, David Stevenson said it was pleasing to continue to support local communities who were still recovering from the impacts of the 2019/2020 bushfires.
"The Western Districts Sports Club's existing pavilion was decimated during the summer bushfires, and we are proud to provide additional support through the AFL Community Relief Fund to help finance the delivery of this project and rebuild their club," Mr Stevenson said.
"This funding wouldn't be possible without the collective contribution and support of the wider AFL industry including all 18 AFL Clubs, AFL and AFLW players, AFLPA, commercial partners including Zurich, Toyota, NAB, Coles, CUB, Google, AAMI, Four 'N Twenty and our fans whose efforts helped raise $8 million to support Bushfire Relief efforts.
"Whilst the world continues to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the AFL industry's ongoing commitment to supporting local communities still recovering from the devastating bushfires has never been stronger, with many of these communities needing our support more than ever before," Mr Stevenson said.
"Football clubs are the heartbeat of local communities across Australia, so we look forward to seeing this project come to life and once again, become an important community hub for Western Districts and the wider Kangaroo Island community for many years to come."
Western Districts Football Club president, Tony Nolan said the club and wider community was thrilled to have the funding to rebuild its facilities.
"Words almost can't explain what an amazing gesture this is by the AFL. This funding means everything for us," Mr Nolan said.
"Our community has been through such enormous loss of not just our physical possessions, but our place of connection.
"We're known as the 'club in the scrub' because we don't have a local town nearby. Our clubrooms are our town, and we were lost without them.
"One of the great things about community clubs is the people, so to have the opportunity to rebuild our bricks and mortar through the support of the AFL is fantastic," Mr Nolan said.
"This announcement has made a lot of people emotional and given us happiness. We are so privileged and proud to be part of this football family."
In addition to the AFL Community Relief Fund, the redevelopment at Western Districts has been funded in partnership with the South Australian Government, Cricket Australia and Kangaroo Island Mayoral Relief and Recovery Bushfire Fund Committee.
Construction at Western Districts will commence later this year and is estimated to be completed in 2022.
Total summary of investment:
- AFL Community Relief Fund: $1,473,533.04
- Other funding: $1,064,627.27
- Kangaroo Island Mayoral Relief and Recovery Bushfire Fund Committee donations: $970,890.69
- SA Government: $582,000
- Cricket Australia: $323,099
. Total project cost: $4,164,150.00
About the AFL Community Relief Fund:
As of May 2021, a total of $5.16 million from the AFL Community Relief Fund has been distributed to community football clubs in bushfire affected areas.
Summary of grants awarded:
- $4,096,493.07 million in total has been distributed, including:
- $3,333,493.07 distributed across 60 grants representing 74 clubs across five states (VIC, SA, NSW, QLD, WA)
- $763,000 distributed to 267 community football clubs & NAB Auskick centres in Bushfire affected areas. A list of these clubs can be found HERE
- $1 million to the Australian Red Cross
- $1.3million remains in the fund and will be distributed in 2021 and beyond in bushfire affected areas
The AFL formed a Governance Committee to administer the funds raised from the AFL Community Relief Fund.