Saturday, 31 August 2013 10:30 AM
The Labor Party have announced a re-elected Kevin Rudd Labor Government will contribute $10 million in funding for the establishment of a state-of-the-art Johnny Warren Football Institute (JWSI) in Western Sydney.
The JWSI will build on the work of the Johnny Warren Football Foundation (JWFF) – a non-profit virtual academy which began operation in 2003 and is operating on donations and $1.5 million in seed funding it received from the NSW Carr Government in 2004.
Federal Labor wants the Johnny Warren Football Institute to be the home of football development in Australia and says there is no better location for it than in Western Sydney.
It will especially target the disadvantaged such as the indigenous and refugees and will be a catalyst for Australian engagement with Asia through the football medium.
“We must now take Johnny Warren’s legacy and the Foundation to the next level. Through camps and activities the JWFF has promoted a new culture of technical excellence for players and coaches,” said Treasurer Chris Bowen in a statement.
There are more than 137,000 participants in Western Sydney playing in junior and senior competitions, accounting for over 20 per cent of participants nationally.
There are more registered football participants in Western Sydney than in Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT combined, with more than 380 state, league or grassroots clubs operating in the region.
Around 50 per cent of the 420-plus Socceroos have hailed from Western Sydney, including recent legends Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer, Mark Bosnich, Brett Emerton, Paul Okon, Jason Culina and Tony Popovic.
Jamie Warren, who is chairman of the Foundation and nephew of the Socceroo captain after whom the facility will be named said; “This will be a fabulous legacy for football and the country, the realisation of a Johnny Warren dream. Importantly it’s not just a monument but a living, breathing facility that will benefit football long-term and far into the future in the game’s heartland.”
It is envisaged the world class JWSI may include:
– National Centre State-of the-Art Learning Centre.
– Lecture Rooms and Theatres.
– An Australian Football Museum.
– Gymnasium and Pool.
– Two accompanying full field all weather pitches.
– Accommodation facilities.
– Administration Centre and Offices.
The JWSI would be the only development program in the country that is scholarship based and caters for elite players – both boys and girls – under the age of 15.
The JWSI would partner with NSW TAFE and the University of Western Sydney to provide a number of recognised diploma courses in areas such as leadership, education, coaching, journalism and sports science.
This commitment would be delivered through the Government’s Liveable Communities Program that is already included in the budget.