As we reach 100 days before the highly anticipated FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023TM, Football Australia unveils an impressive mosaic to commemorate a multitude of significant moments and contributions since the inception of the bold and forward-thinking Legacy '23 plan.
The year 2023 is poised to be the most thrilling in Australian football history, with the CommBank Matildas ranked Australia’s fourth most favoured national team (source Futures Sport and Entertainment Brand Health Report December 2022) and rising participation numbers, promising a bright future for our game.
With just 100 days to go until the world unites on our shores for the largest standalone event in women's sport, the FIFA Women's World CupTM, there are many achievements to celebrate in the advancement of women's football in Australia and at the same time, an opportunity to reflect on what remains to be carried out.
Since its launch in February 2021, the Legacy '23 Plan has been instrumental in securing Federal and State funding across the five pillars of Football Australia. Notably, 79% of this has been attributed to the development of elite and tournament infrastructure necessary to make the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ possible.
Despite some progress, it is crucial that we address much-needed improvement in community grassroots facilities. Currently, only 40% of football facilities nationwide are classified as female-friendly, and the figures are even more alarming in New South Wales, where the number drops to a mere 24%. To achieve gender parity in participation, it is imperative that we invest in our 2,400+ community clubs across the country to ensure they are adequately prepared for the expected surge in female participation, and participation in the sport more broadly.
Minister for Sport, Anika Wells said, “in 100 days, this World Cup will change lives… not just for players, but for fans captivated in stadiums and for the children watching on believing they too can be great.”
“The FIFA Women’s World CupTM is crucial to providing opportunities to increase football and sport participation by women and girls and we must work together to ensure this becomes reality. The Government has provided significant financial, operational and policy support to the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ to help promote cultural change through sport and ensure the tournament leaves a positive legacy for decades.”
Football Australia CEO, James Johnson states,
“Our Legacy ‘23 Plan has laid te groundwork for Football Australia to leverage the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023TM and to revolutionise the future of women’s football and the way in which women and girls across the country participate in sport."
“As we strive to become Australia’s first community sport to reach gender parity, we will continue to work collaboratively with Federal and State Governments, and our commercial partners to capitalise on the growth this event will bring to our game and to unlock further opportunities to support the country’s largest club-based participation sport.”
The following key accomplishments are a glimpse of what has been achieved through Legacy ’23 funding in partnership with Government and Commercial collaborators.
13 domestic matches for the CommBank Matildas, achieving record attendance and viewership with tremendous support from 10 Viacom CBS / Network Ten.
16 development camps for the CommBank Junior and Young Matildas, fostering the growth of the next generation.
Introduction of the CommBank ParaMatildas, a ground-breaking initiative in Football Australia’s All-Abilities program.
Launch of OUR GAME, a platform designed to utilise the power of football to create an inclusive, diverse environment that uplifts and celebrates women and girls.
Inauguration of Game Changer, the Club Development Program aimed at protecting, enhancing, supporting, and empowering the 2400+ clubs nationally to foster an inclusive and welcoming culture.
Establishment of the OUR GAME Women & Non-Binary Persons in Media Program to ensure gender parity efforts in football extend beyond the pitch.
$10 million investment in the NSW Football Legacy Program, which promotes football at all levels through new community facilities, participation initiatives, and leadership and development programs.
Creation of The Home of the Matildas at La Trobe University, Melbourne – the largest football-specific infrastructure project in Australia’s history, providing a $116 million home for our CommBank Matildas within a purpose-built, ultramodern National Training Centre.
Pacific Four Nations Tournament, an initiative of the International Engagement pillar highlighting our commitment to being a centre of excellence for women’s football and a supporting partner in the growth of women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region.
Implementation of the Football Australia Club Licensing system for A-League and NPL Men and A-League and NPL Women clubs, designed to raise the standards of professionalism at football clubs and safeguard competitions.
Football Australia is also currently preparing a bid to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026, which is a natural step to expand on the strong platform created by the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™.
As we gear up to co-host the most significant FIFA Women’s World CupTM yet, this unique opportunity allows us to create an everlasting legacy for football, the community, and the nation. Legacy ‘23 is a strategic plan aimed at harnessing the growth of women’s football and delivering long-lasting benefits beyond 2023. Football Australia remains dedicated to working alongside Federal and State Governments, as well as the corporate sector, to ensure we leave a legacy for future generations.
The Last-Minute Sales Phase will run until the end of the tournament, giving fans a chance to purchase tickets and be part of the world's largest standalone sporting event for women. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to availability.
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