The Lions AFLW team has received a $15 million commitment from the Federal Government, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison promising to help provide their team home.
With just days before their Round 1 opener against the GWS Giants, Prime Minister Morrison delivered the good news in front of delighted Brisbane Lions players and staff, as well as AFL Queensland.
The funding will be used to build the Lions’ training and administration facility located in Springfield, which will also include a boutique 10,000 capacity stadium.
“To give women’s football, women’s AFL, a real shot in the arm, we’re announcing today $15 million for this wonderful project, The Reserve project, out at Springfield, which is going to be the new home of the Brisbane Lions women’s AFL,” Prime Minister Morrison said.
“Young girls, all over Queensland, know that there is a home for them in AFL and that there is a future for them in AFL,” he said.
Facilities at ‘The Reserve’ including the pool, gym, meeting rooms and auditorium will be available to the wider community.
To celebrate the news Prime Minister Morrison, along with Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie, Federal Member for Brisbane Trevor Evans and Senator Amanda Stoker had a kicking and handballing drill with Lions AFLW players Sam Virgo, Sabrina Frederick-Traub, Nat Grider and Kate Lutkins, as well as men’s players Dayne Zorko and Connor McFadyen.
Lions Women’s CEO, Breeanna Brock, said today’s news was a dream come true after years of hard work campaigning.
“It’s just going to change the game for us, we couldn’t be happier,” Brock said.
“To have all levels of government come together is amazing for what it’s going to do for women’s football in Queensland.”
Lions Chairman, Andrew Wellington, thanked both the Federal and Queensland State Governments for their support of the project.
“The Queensland State Government have previously indicated their financial support for the project, subject to that funding being matched by the Federal Government,” Wellington said.
“This announcement from the Federal Government means we can now start working directly with all levels of Government to take the project forward.
“’The Reserve’ will not just provide a home for our AFLW team, it will also allow us space and resources to properly expand our Hyundai Help for Kids Academy so that it can cater to the exponential growth we are seeing in participation in women’s football.”
The men’s team will proudly continue to play and occasionally train at The Gabba.
“We are committed to ensuring that the asset created will not just be a fantastic asset for our club and players, but will be an asset for the community,” Wellington said.
Construction of the facility will start this year, with completion in 2021.
The Lions executive team and football department have spent more than 60 hours in the design process with Brisbane architecture firm Populous.