Geelong Touch (Football) Association provides a family friendly, social non-contact mixed gender sport to the local community. We have had approximately 300 members in the past few seasons in summer but are unable to provide our members an opportunity to participate in Winter. We play our games at King Lloyd Recreation Reserve in Newtown and have recently offered a second night of competition due to our increasingly growing demand in participation numbers. We have hosted State affiliate cups and Western Affiliate cups at our venue and have had players from all over the state comment how our ground is the best Touch Football surface in Victoria.
We wish to deliver a floodlighting project with the support of Council and State Government. Extra funding would help to increase the strength of our application through the Community Sports Infrastructure Fund -Minor Facilities (that we have been applying for since 2013). We consider it very likely that we will need additional funding from other sources in order to have this project passed through local council in relation to this area of funding that they review each year.
Currently we have approximately 300 participants at Geelong Touch Association including women, men and children aged from 10 to 67 that play in our competition. This project would allow those participants to play in a winter competition. Data from our Melbourne competitions show that 85% of participants that play in the summer competitions go on to playing in the winter competitions.
The floodlights would also allow other user groups to use the fields on other nights during the week, including football and soccer clubs. Discussions with a member of Football Federation Victoria (Soccer) have indicated interested in this project and would like to create a new junior soccer club and utilise our fields during the week nights.
The project will also allow other Aussie Rules football clubs to train at our grounds during the week if required and will allow the general public to get out and active by walking through our grounds at night knowing it is safe. We often find people take their dogs down to the grounds to run around.
Our sport is only offered at King Lloyd Reserve in Geelong, yet participation data shows that our sport is closely followed in numbers behind aussie rules football. We expect to have 1,000,000 participants play our game nationally by 2020 making it one of the leading community sports offered in Australia and this project will help achieve that goal set by Touch Football Australia in the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.
Up until last season we were at maximum capacity and could not let in any more teams for a number of seasons due to availability of light. Last Season we decided to break out our competition to two nights, allowing A and B grades on the Monday nights and a Family Grade on the Wednesday night. This was well received and we can now afford to market and grow participation in summer as we have room to grow.
We have now had an external company create a strategic plan for us and are going to work through various means to increase participation. Some examples include increased facebook paid marketing, creating flyers to hand out in the local neighbourhood, posting on boards at local indoor sporting centres, working with council to post on their social media sites etc. An Ausplay study shows that 1.1% of the population are registered members at Touch Football Clubs in Australia. If we had that share in Geelong, that would allow for approximately 2600 registered members in Geelong. We are also trying to run school programs.