Formally opened today by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos, the much-anticipated precinct is the third stage of La Trobe University’s Sports Park and a key component of La Trobe’s University City of the Future. The facility will host the CommBank Matildas as they prepare for their FIFA Women’s World CupTM ‘Send-Off Match’ against France at Marvel Stadium on 14 July.
The Home of the Matildas will serve as the centre for Football Australia to train the national women’s squad and, as a National Centre of Excellence, will provide a lasting legacy for the game in the development of the next generation of football superstars. The site is also the new home of Football Victoria and will host their administrative activities, high performance training, development and recovery programs.
Local football clubs will have access to the centre’s pitches and community level training and programs. La Trobe University students will also use the facility as part of their world-class sport industry placement program.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulous said, “This facility will provide a training base in Australia for the likes of Sam Kerr and Steph Catley, but more importantly it will help to develop the next generation of champions inspired by this year’s Women’s World Cup.”
Speaking at the opening event, La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar AO, said that the launch of the Home of the Matildas marks an exciting milestone for the University, for elite women’s sport and for the wider community.
“I’m thrilled to welcome the CommBank Matildas to our exceptional new Sports Park facilities and, on behalf of the entire La Trobe University community, I wish the team every success in the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 TM,” Professor Dewar said.
“Since development of La Trobe’s Sports Park commenced in 2014, I’m proud to say that we now have one of the best sports facilities in Australia.
“Not only does our Sports Park provide exceptional facilities for elite sporting teams like the Matildas and for grassroots community sport, but it also opens up unique and exciting opportunities for our students and for our world-leading researchers in sport science, allied health and sports medicine to work with our partners including Football Victoria.
“As one of the fastest growing regions in Melbourne, our community needed a world-class stadium and sports precinct. Now they have one.”
Football Australia CEO James Johnson said, “Football Australia is thrilled to see the opening of a first-class, high-performance facility that will be a vibrant illustration of Legacy ’23 coming to life for the benefit of the football community. The Home of the Matildas will provide our most talented Australian Women’s National Team footballers and staff the opportunity to thrive and a place of excellence for the next generation to develop.”
Football Victoria President, Antonella Care, celebrated a monumental moment in Victorian football history.
“This precinct has the power to drive tangible change in our game. We’re thrilled to unveil this precinct to our football community, a place we can all call home, where the lofty ambitions of our female football family will be supported like never before.”
Following the World Cup, the facility will then be available for Australia’s national teams to prepare for tournaments and will be the home base for all the state’s major football programs – with the 800-seat showpiece pitch playing host to significant football fixtures.
Hundreds of community footballers will also have the opportunity to train and play on the same fields as their heroes, creating a tangible pathway from the grassroots to the elite at one single venue for the very first time. A booking system will launch in September.
About the Matildas and Football Victoria facilities
The project was funded as part of a $101 million investment by the Andrews’ Labor Government into the La Trobe University Sports Park, with the $42.29 million for The Home of The Matildas – the biggest investment ever made by any level of government for a football-specific project in Australia – made in addition to the Federal Government’s contribution of $15 million.
The project also has a unique focus on gender equity and inclusion. All partners and service providers have been required to demonstrate their commitment to gender equity, with the facility designed by leading female architects to assist Australia’s elite sports women.
The precinct features two state-of-the-art hybrid turf pitches, two FIFA-grade synthetic pitches (with another to be constructed later this year), twelve change rooms (including the CommBank Matildas’ own, customised changing room), a fully-equipped gym, outstanding medical facilities, modern wet recovery areas, premium function rooms, coaching development spaces and a boutique, 800-seat grandstand with elevated sight lines.
Alongside the football facilities, construction is underway on the State Rugby Centre of Excellence providing training, development and recovery facilities for high performance players, and match day facilities for the Melbourne Rebels’ Super W team.
About La Trobe’s Sports Park
The opening of the Home of the Matildas marks the third stage of La Trobe University’s Sports Park, a key component of the University’s ambitious $5 billion University City of the Future which is already transforming Melbourne’s north.
La Trobe University invested more than $80 million to develop the first two stages of its Sports Park 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.
Read more about the La Trobe Sports Park on our website.
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