Matildas waltzing home to La Trobe
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula today announced an investment of $1.5 million to start planning for the Home for the Matildas and a State Rugby Union Centre to be created at La Trobe University’s Bundoora Sports Park, a key component of the University City of the Future plan.
The facility would be the Victorian base for Football Federation Australia’s national women’s programs – led by the world number seven ranked, Sam Kerr-captained Matildas – and the training, high-performance and administration centre for Football Victoria.
The planning work will be conducted in partnership with Rugby Victoria with designs to include training and administration space for programs including the Melbourne Rebels’ Super W team.
The Commonwealth Government has committed $15 million towards the construction of the Home of the Matildas in Victoria.
La Trobe University has invested more than $80 million to develop the first two stages of its Sports Park Master Plan which includes a six-court indoor stadium, research laboratories and facilities for soccer, football, cricket and baseball. The Banyule City Council has contributed $5 million towards the cost of the works.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be played across Australia and New Zealand with Melbourne’s AAMI Park to host five games including a quarter-final. The ninth FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the largest ever with 32 teams engaged to play 64 games over a five-week period in July/August.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula said: “The Matildas have captured Australia’s imagination with magnificent performances across the globe and it’s fantastic that soccer has identified Melbourne as the best place to build a permanent home for the team.
“We’ll get to work on planning a soccer and rugby union centre of excellence that will provide A-grade facilities for stars of all ages.”
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO said: “The La Trobe Sports Park is already a world-class facility – having the Matildas, Football Victoria and Rugby Victoria based on campus would deliver significant benefits for our students and the community in Melbourne’s north.”
Matildas captain Sam Kerr said: “This is amazing news for the Matildas – the prospect of having a state-of-the-art facility specifically designed for our use is very exciting. We love playing in Melbourne and we really look forward to having a dedicated base where we can train and prepare for matches.”
Melbourne Rebels chair Paul Docherty said: “The creation of the Victorian Rugby Centre of Excellence at La Trobe University would underpin the continuing growth of our sport in Victoria and maximise its benefit to the community and participants for decades to come.”