Ryde Hockey celebrates Family Day

RYDE Hunters Hill Hockey Club is celebrating its annual Family Day this weekend.

The event – this Saturday, August 4 – is an opportunity to celebrate the club’s deep ties with its community and the vital contribution that families, past and present, have made to the Club.

On Family Day the Club joins with the Gordon North Sydney Hockey club in playing for the Ryde-GNS Cup.

Points from juniors, women’s and men’s matches played over the weekend will determine the destination of the Cup for 2018.

There are festivities throughout the day including Family Day favourites such as the Junior Club Relay, the Best Dressed Supporter Dog Competition, jumping castles and delicious food. Family Day is also a great opportunity to see some wonderful junior and senior hockey.

The Sydney Premier Hockey League WomenÕs first grade clash at 3.30 pm and Men’s first grade fixture at 5pm will feature a number of players from the recently concluded U/21 National Championships.

Australian Kookaburras star Lachlan Sharp, fresh from gold medal triumphs at the Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy, will line up for the Panthers and shapes as a key figure in the men’s top grade clash.

Ryde-Hunters Hill Hockey Club President Glen Castensen extends a very warm welcome to sporting fans to join the celebration, noting that the club’s involvement in the local community since 1934 owed a great deal to the support of that community.

The venue for the celebration is Keith Thompson Hockey Centre at 18 Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park.

An entertaining experience awaits those who attend.

TWT EXCLUSIVE: PANTHER POWER! Ryde Hockey celebrates new home ground win

RYDE HUNTERS HILL Hockey Panthers are celebrating one of the greatest wins in the club’s history with a new two field home ground announced last Friday.

Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts and Ryde MP Victor Dominello said the two hockey fields are proposed for Christie Park in Macquarie Park with the Panthers’ Keith Thompson Field in Macquarie Park to make way for the grounds of a new school at the neighbouring former Peter Board High School site.

The Panthers’ Patron and The Weekly Times Managing Editor John F Booth AM had lobbied the government to get the extra field our growing number of local hockey juniors need and is celebrating the win alongside Club President Glen Castensen who described the deal as a landmark in the club’s 80 year history.

“This is wonderful news for the Ryde Hockey Club and a landmark achievement for the Ryde community,” Mr Castensen said.

“It is very satisfying to see our player development programs and our reputation on the world stage being matched by the proposed relocation to a much-needed dual field, first-class hockey centre and home ground.”

Mr Roberts and Mr Dominello said the State government will seek to buy vacant land next to the adjoining former Peter Board High School to build the new high school and possibly a primary school.

The proposed deal is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

““More and more families are calling Ryde home,” Mr Dominello said.

“The current site will be redeveloped into a new high school and the relocation will provide the NSW Government with greater opportunity to expand local education opportunities.”

He said he hoped the new high school – and possibly a new primary school – will be built within four years.

Ryde-Hunters Hill Hockey Club’s Hockeyroos representative and Senior Club Captain Mikaela Patterson with top Panthers juniors Aaron Pereira, 17; Lachlan Pereira, 14 and Georgia Graham, 17. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO.


THE HOME base of the Ryde Hunters Hill Hockey Panthers in Macquarie Park is to be demolished to make way for a new school in a deal which will see it replaced by two new synthetic hockey fields at Christie Park.

The fate of the Keith Thompson Field was announced last Friday by Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts and Ryde MP Victor Dominello who said the state government will seek to buy vacant land next to the adjoining former Peter Board High School to build the new high school and possibly a primary school.

The two MPs stopped short of revealing the cost of the deal, estimated to be worth millions of dollars.

It was welcomed by Panthers Club President Glen Castensen who described it as a landmark win.

Mr Dominello said Christie Park has been identified as the “preferred location” and his hope is that money will be made available to have both schools built within four years.

He said the community will have a say in the new school’s name and he assured hockey players the new fields would have adequate parking and facilities.

“Hockey is a much loved sport in the community, so it makes sense to provide players and supporters with a more modern, fit-for-purpose facility,” Mr Dominello said.

“More and more families are calling Ryde home and a new site will help cater for increased growth.

“The current site will be redeveloped into a new high school and the relocation will provide the NSW Government with greater opportunity to expand the educational offerings.”

Mr Robert’s blamed previous Labor governments for the closure of Peter Board High School and described the announcement as a buy-back.

“The previous Labor government failed to sell off Hunters Hill High School so it sold off this school instead,” he said.

Nearby Christie Park is home to many of Ryde’s junior and women’s soccer teams and Mr Roberts said it made sense to relocate hockey there.

“It will now be easier for mums and dads to take their children to hockey, as well as soccer.”

The two MPs said the announced proposed deal is backed by a memorandum of understanding between the government and the club.

Mr Castensen said the Keith Thompson Field had seen some great days since it was opened in 1994 which has produced champions and was an Olympic training venue but could not accommodate the recent growth in Hockey’s popularity.

“This is a wonderful day for the Ryde Hockey Club and a landmark achievement for the community of Ryde,” he said.

“Our Club has been a strong and inclusive part of the district for over 80 years and with today’s announcement by the Ministers, our engagement with the community will continue for many, many more decades to come.”

The Weekly Times Managing Editor John F Booth is the club patron.

“Our Club is the largest hockey club in NSW offering participation and programs across all ages for women and men, girls and boys, ” Mr Castensen said.

“Hockey is also a leading international sport with high levels of grassroots participation across many nations,” Mr Castensen said.

“Internationally we are recognised for our junior development program and the high number of elite players we regularly produce.

“With today’s announcement, it is very satisfying to see our engagement in the Ryde community, our player development programs and our reputation on the world stage being matched by the proposed relocation to a much-needed dual field, first-class hockey centre and home ground.”



Local netball has been promised a $30 millions new sports centre by the NSW State Government on the Marsden High School site at West Ryde. 

NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres joined Ryde MP Victor Dominello at Eastwood Ryde Netball Association’s Meadowbank netball courts last Friday to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Education, Office of Sport and ERNA officials. 

Proposal is for a state of the art sporting facility featuring a four indoor courts centre plus 32 outdoor courts and plenty of parking. 

ERNA president Karen Waud and Sponsorship & Grants Co-ordinator Anne Doring OAM sign the MoU at last week’s $30m funding commitment by the NSW Government for a state-of-the-art sporting facility on the old Marsden High School site. They are pictured with Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres, Ryde MP Victor Dominello, Chief Operations Officer Netball NSW/General Manager GIANTS Netball Mike Anderson and Pam Smith, former International Netball Vice President and CEO Netball Australia. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO.

$30 million investment secures Sydney’s future home of netball

A NEW indoor outdoor sporting facility which will cater to one of NSW’s fastest growing sports, netball, is a step closer following a $30 million funding commitment by the NSW Government and a Memorandum of Understandsing signed to secure the project’s future.

The state-of-the-art sporting facility will feature four indoor netball courts and 32 outdoor courts and parking on the site of the former Marsden High School site when it forms part of the future Meadowbank Education Precinct.

Ryde MP Victor Dominello joined Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres at Meadowbank Netball Courts last Friday to announce the MoU between the Department of Education, Office of Sport and the Eastwood Ryde Netball Association.

“More and more families are choosing to call Ryde home and we are investing in the kind of sporting facilities and green space which improve quality of life and keep our communities healthy,” Mr Dominello said.

“The announcement is a big win for local sporting infrastructure enabled by the NSW Government’s expansion of the Marsden High School as part of the State’s first technology focused TAFE campus precinct at Meadowbank.”

Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said NSW Government is focused on delivering grassroots sporting infrastructure and reducing barriers to playing sport.

“Netball is continuing to experience massive growth across the state, with more than 113,000 members at all levels of performance playing in cities, suburbs, and country towns across NSW,” Mr Ayres.

“By investing in grassroots facilities and making sport more affordable for families through initiatives like the Active Kids rebate, we’re setting our young people up for lifelong healthy futures.”

Construction on the sports centre is expected to commence following the relocation of Marsden High School to the new campus in 2021.

Eastwood Ryde Netball Association life member Anne Doring and president Karen Waud were ecstatic with news of the planned state of the art sporting facility.

“The facility would be a tremendous boost to the City of Ryde community and a huge fillip for ERNA who have 4,700 members,” said Anne.

“This is an exciting project and wonderful opportunity for women in sport,” she said.

“The regional indoor facility would predominantly be used for netball but could also be used for other indoor sports.”



VIDEO: D-DAY for Socceroos – video chat with PM before facing formidable France

The Socceroos kick off their 2018 FIFA World Cup™ campaign against European heavyweights France on Saturday night at 8pm AEST.

With two friendly wins under their belts and more than three weeks of preparation in Antalya, Turkey, Bert van Marwijk’s side landed in Russia to gear up for the challenge of Les Bleus.

Who? France

Current world ranking: 7th

Where? Kazan Arena, Kazan

When? Saturday 16 June 2018, kick off at 8pm (AEST)

Broadcast: You can watch the game LIVE in Australia on SBS and Optus Sport.



Australia v France: Final pre-match press conference

After this press conference yesterday, the squad had a chance to become better acquainted with the pitch where they’ll do battle with France – live on SBS and Optus Sport at 8pm (AEST) on Saturday.


Again, the session was open for only the first 15 minutes before the staff shut the door on prying eyes to ensure they can put the crucial final touches on the preparation for facing Les Bleus.

It gave van Marwijk the chance to reinforce the message he’s been drumming into his players from the moment they came into camp in Turkey last month.

It was all about having defensive discipline, closing the time and space on the ball for the opposition and pressing hard, trying to win the ball and hit the opposition on the counter-attack.

The session didn’t last too long, just a chance for the players to fine-tune any last minute tactics and get a few of the venue where they’ll do battle with one of the tournament favourites.

For Leckie, he has the experience from Brazil four years ago to draw on heading into their opening match in Group C and he admits there’s a mixture of nerves and excitement amongst the squad ahead of kick-off.

“I think for every player it’s different going into tournaments or important games,” he told reporters in Kazan.

“Some will get nervous, some are relaxed, obviously for the younger ones who haven’t played much they could get really nervous.


Where to watch? Plenty of options in TWT Territory

There’s even more great news for fans that love being part of the atmosphere as much as watching the match itself.

Tonight’s match will be watched by a global television audience in the billion and it will be harder to avoid cheering on the Socceroos than it will being in the thick of the action.

So if you’re looking for a place to get together with some friends or team-mates to get into the spirit of things, you won’t be short on options in TWT Territory!


TWT’s picks for watching the game

The City of Ryde’s ‘Live Sit at ELS Hall is likely the place to be if you’re looking for the closest thing to a stadium atmosphere, with a decent sized crowd expected due to the absence of any form of bad weather.

The event has also been given an unexpected boost by the controversy this week over the cost of tickets to a Parramatta outdoor fan event – it’s not that far away really and should attract fans and family’s attracted by the word ‘FREE’ and activities the City of Ryde has arranged to keep the kids occupied, along with food and coffee vans.

One sleep left until the Socceroos' nail-biting encounter with World Football Superpower, France. Let's gather at ELS…

Posted by The Weekly Times – Australia on Friday, 15 June 2018


If you prefer something a bit more ‘indoorsy’, head down to Gladesville Sporties where you can watch the game on the big screen as well as multiple other screens throughout the venue. And the best thing? Sporties will be screening all the action in this smorgasbord of football, all the way through to the Final on July 14th (15th AEST)

Another great option for tonight's showdown with France! It's all happening in TWT Territory! #GOSocceroos https://gladesvillesporties.com.au/whatson/sports-bar-2-2-2-2/

Posted by The Weekly Times – Australia on Friday, 15 June 2018


And North Ryde RSL is also getting into the spirit of things,  offering some value price football food and hydration – $8 lamb cutlets (3); $6 chicken wings (3) and $12 jugs – and there’ will be half-time giveaways and also a chance to win a TAB fridge or a trip to the UK to go to the EPL! 

Watch the games on one of the club’s BIG SCREENS. This promotion will be running for tonight’s match and the Socceroos’ two other group stage fixtures:  Thursday 27th June 10pm and Wednesday 27th June 12am

Posted by The Weekly Times – Australia on Friday, 15 June 2018

And as part of its 60th Anniversary celebrations, Eastwood St Andrews AFC this weekend, the club is calling on its extended family to head back to Club Eastwood to cheer on the Socceroos against France.

Posted by The Weekly Times – Australia on Friday, 15 June 2018



PM tells Socceroos that Australia’s proud

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s awkward banter with the Socceroos’ Tim Cahill, Mark Milligan and Mile Jedinak in a video phone chat was probably less motivating than it was distracting, but at least confirms football – the most played team sport in Australia – is at last on the sporting radar of our nation’s leader.

Unlike leaders from most of the other nations competing in the FIFA World Cup tournament, he hasn’t yet made an effort to get to Russia. Mr Turnbull opted instead for a video chat with Socceroos Mile Jedinak, Tim Cahill, Mark Milligan and Football Federation Australia chairman Stephen Lowy.

They were gracious recipients of the PM’s gesture but probably equally happy to get back to focusing on this evening’s formidable task, the Socceroo’s World Cup opener against footballing superpower, France.

“Welcome to our change room Mr Prime Minster,” was the greeting from Milligan.

“So you’re all pumped up, ready to go?” asked the PM, to which Milligan explained that all the hard work had been done in the Socceroos’ training camp in Turkey and that “it’s been a bit more relaxed leading in now”.

The PM then moved on to Cahill: “How are you mate? So you make a habit of scoring goals at World Cups, I understand, so you’ve got to keep at it.”

Cahill told the PM he would be trying his best, before switching to statesman duties.

“We’d just like to say a massive thankyou to you for supporting us.. getting behind us.,” Cahill said, adding the Socceroos and staff were appreciative.

Mr Turnbull said: “You’re playing the world game on the world stage and I can’t tell you how proud we are of you. So you go for it. More goals that’s what we want.”

Finally, he moved on to Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak with some praise for his (Spartan) Leonidas-like facial hair.

“Listen, the beard’s more magnificent than ever,” the PM said, to which Jedinak confirmed it was “getting groomed OK over here, so keeping it well.”

With the important stuff now covered, the PM was interested to know how Jedinak felt about France.

“Do you think they’re over-confident?” he asked.

Jedinak said there had been plenty analysis of France and the Socceroos has done plenty of work focused on countering Les Bleus since commencing training camp in Turkey last month and everything had been “geared up” for tonight’s encounter.

“We’ve got to go out there and put all that hard effort in and I have no doubt the boys will give it their all tomorrow,” he said.

Mr Turnbull recently travelled to China as part of the failed mission to convert its football-mad public to the novelty of AFL, describing it as Australia’s “most exciting football code”.

Less compelling for the PM, it seems, was Australia’s appearance among 32 of the best teams in the world’s biggest quadrennial sporting event, organised by the sport’s world governing body, FIFA, which has more member states than the United Nations.

Eastwood St Andrews celebrates “the beautiful game” and its 60th anniversary

AN EASTWOOD football club conceived in 1958 in the middle of the Indian Ocean is celebrating its 60th Anniversary on Saturday.

St Andrews was the brainchild of the Lee family who came up with the idea of forming a community football club while on board on board the ocean liner S.S. Strathaird, enroute to Australia.

The club was established in Eastwood as part of the Northern Districts Soccer Football Association, now known as the Gladesville Hornsby Football Association.

Training and home games were at Meadowbank or Epping because the club’s iconic Eastwood Oval was still a swamp.

Scotland was a superpower in world football in the 1950s and there were clubs around the world, including London’s Millwall FC, with ties to Scotland or had adopted Scottish motifs.

Eastwood St Andrews was another, adopting as its badge “The Saltire” – a white cross of St Andrew on a navy blue background – that features in the national flag of Scotland.

City of Ryde Councillor, Bernard Purcell is a stalwart club member who recalled the days when boots were heavy and steel-studded, nets were a new invention and the few parents attending games were cajoled into various volunteer roles, from linesmen to laundry women.

“This year we take time to reflect on the extraordinary work of the Lee family of Bertie, Clive, Nigel and Celia,” Clr Purcell said.

“We celebrate Nigel Lee, in particular, for his enormous personal efforts in forming and growing one of the great local clubs.”

In the 1950s, Rugby League was – by far – the most popular sport for boys and Rugby Union continued to hold sway in Sydney’s private school system.

Fast forward 60 years and football has eclipsed rival codes as the largest team sport for boys and girls, along with a barmy army of “soccer mums” and dads who shout encouragement from the sidelines.



Clr Purcell believes football’s success comes down to the game’s flow – free from stoppages from scrums and line-outs and with fewer injuries – from which teamwork is rewarded with an often hard-fought goal.

Then there’s the simplicity – anyone who can kick a ball can enjoy playing football, while any rectangular patch can become a makeshift pitch.

“Soccer – or football as it is formally known – is a game that encapsulates personal skill and team involvement,” he said.

“It relies on players to work with each other and achieve more than the sum of their parts.

“It is a beautiful game because, at its best, the passage of play as the ball is passed from one to the other, and finally in the back of the net, is sublime.”

There’s also a special and universal cultural – some would say, tribal – community that has developed around football, uniting barefoot players on the beaches of Rio with those hacking the ball across ice-covered fields in Reykjavik.

“It welcomes all from the community to pull on their team colours and share a common goal,” Clr Purcell said.

“With great vision, soccer has been opened up to the youngest and the oldest in our community; catering for all ages and skill levels and it has done more.

“Soccer has given ladies, young and old, the chance to play the game themselves in their own competitions or beside the boys if they choose.

“As a coach I marvelled at how young women could match the boys and often outplay them.”

Clr Purcell will be among the many past and present figures who will celebrate Eastwood St Andrews’ history on Saturday and also hopes it will be a day to celebrate what football has given the City of Ryde.

“I wish to congratulate all the region’s soccer players, officials, committee members and involved spectators for making soccer what it is today in Australia, a beautiful game for all,” he said.

“Our communities would be poorer places without sporting clubs and I take my hat off to all the tireless volunteers who help keep sports clubs operating and growing, week in and week out, year in and year out.”

Back to Eastwood Day for Eastwood St Andrews AFC

Saturday 16th June is the annual Back to Eastwood Day for local soccer club Eastwood St Andrews AFC.

The club invites all past and present members to come down to Eastwood Oval to watch some of the current teams play, while reminiscing on past glories.

This year is the club’s 60th anniversary, so it promises to be a special day, and night. Woodies teams will be playing on both ovals, culminating in the Premier League clash between St Andrews and Pennant Hills at 1pm for Reserve Grade and 3pm for First Grade.

Team photos will be taken on the day, and a new seat will be unveiled on the hill overlooking the bottom oval. This seat will be dedicated to Nigel Lee, one of the founders of the club, who recently passed away, as well as commemorating the Club’s 60th anniversary.

Watch the Socceroos at Club Eastwood

After the football is finished on the Eastwood Ovals, the celebrations will continue with a special event at the club’s major sponsor, Club Eastwood.

Past and present members are invited to catch up before watching the Socceroos opening group match at the FIFA World Cup live on the big screens. So for anyone who has or is associated with Eastwood St Andrews AFC, lock Sat 16th June in your calendars as a day not to be missed as they celebrate building community through sport for the last 60 years.


World Cup Hysteria Hits TWT Territory

A HUGE NIGHT of football festivity is expected this Saturday when fans across TWT Territory converge at ELS Hall Park ‘Live Site’ in North Ryde to cheer on the Socceroos as they kick-off their FIFA World Cup finals campaign in Russia.

City of Ryde Mayor, Jerome Laxale, said he was delighted the Ryde community had a chance to come together and cheer on Australia in the biggest sporting tournament in the world.

“The growth in popularity of football throughout Ryde is clear for all to see, so it’s only fitting that Council can put on this live site and provide people of all ages the chance to watch Australia begin their World Cup campaign,” Clr Laxale said.

“There will be fun activities for the kids, great food for everyone and of course some great football to witness, so I encourage everyone to get down to ELS Hall Park on Saturday.”

City of Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale and members of the local football community get a feel for ELS Hall Park ahead of this Saturday’s World Cup ‘Live Site’ event to mark the start of the Socceroos’ campaign – a showdown with global football powerhouse France, kicking off 8pm.

Australia faces a formidable challenge in its first-up encounter with world football powerhouse, France, kicking off at 8pm (AEST) with all the action to be showcased on a huge screen.

But the festivities will get underway at 6pm at ELS Hall Park, with family-friendly activities taking place to complement the sporting action.

After initial fears that weather would jeopardise the event, the planets have aligned for the City of Ryde with forecasts all but eliminating the chance of rain and controversy over ticketing costs at another outdoor World Cup event in Parramatta providing a much-needed boost for Ryde’s free event.

City of Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale and members of the local football community get a feel for ELS Hall Park ahead of this Saturday’s World Cup ‘Live Site’ event to mark the start of the Socceroos’ campaign -a showdown with global football powerhouse France, kicking off at 8pm.

A range of fun activities for the children will include Dart Ball, Snooker Feet and face painting, while there will also be food trucks, including Brades Burgers, Pizza Event and the Salvation Army Community Coffee Van.

Patrons are also being encouraged by the City of Ryde to bring their own drink bottle to take advantage of the filtered water stations that will be on-hand.

“In addition, a number of heaters will be on-site at the venue to ensure patrons can stay warm throughout the match,” the City of Ryde said.

“There is a contingency plan in place in the event of rain, with the live site to move into the indoor sporting complex, which is adjacent to the outdoor sporting field at ELS Hall Park.”

The late kick-off times had forced the City of Ryde to abandon initial plans to screen all three matches at its live site.

Football’s rapidly-growing local community and new fans of the game can expect an unprecedented number of options to watch the 64 matches across 12 venues in 11 cities, while also supporting local businesses and clubs.

Event Cinemas across Australia – including Top Ryde – will be screening all of Australia’s games, including the two other group stage matches, against Denmark (June 21, 10pm) and Peru (June 26, midnight), with cinema entry an hour before kick-off.

Gladesville Sporties is another option, with its sports bar to screen “all the 2018 World Cup action”, while Eastwood St Andrews FC is promoting Club Eastwood as the go-to venue for the Socceroos’ opener against France.

And The Ranch Hotel in North Ryde is cheekily promoting itself a “live site” to catch all of the tournament’s matches.

Australia will need to be in the top two of its group of four to proceed to the knockout phase, with the final set down for July 14 at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium (July 15, 1am AEST)

The FIFA World Cup in Russia officially gets underway on June 14 with hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia (June 15, 1am AEST).

Meanwhile, with unprecedented growth in player numbers across Gladesville Hornsby Football Association’s clubs, there are other signs that TWT Territory’s youth are preparing for the football bonanza with local Caltex stations – including North Ryde’s ‘Cahilltex’ – regularly selling out of Socceroo swap cards.

And there are reports that local school children are actively engaged in collecting and swapping the iconic Panini World Cup stickers.

World Cup hype to boost local clubs

WORLD Cup fever is beginning to grip TWT territory with football fans gearing up for the game’s most prestigious tournament, kicking off next next week in Russia.

Former Socceroo defender and local North Ryde Soccer Club product Alex Wilkinson turned up at his junior club last Thursday for a meet and greet session at North Ryde Oval.

A group of under-11 North Ryde juniors got a big kick out of meeting the Sydney FC international and chatting about the Socceroos and the World Cup.


North Ryde Soccer Club is one of many local clubs riding football’s tidal wave in popularity and the growth it has experienced over the last five years is set to continue, says club president James Howard.

He was on hand to greet Sydney FC’s star defender and former junior Alex Wilkinson when he dropped in to North Ryde Oval last week during training for the under-11 and under-13 teams.

“We’re proud of Alex’s achievements and we’re lucky he’s a great role model for kids that is passionate about the game,” Mr Howard told The Weekly Times.

“We’re a community-based club that caters for everyone – from the ages of six to 60.

“That includes both players aiming for bigger and better things at representative level and those interested more in the social side of things and the cameraderie that our game offers.”

He said the club catered to both boys and girls, men and women to ensure the cub continued to reflect its community and a more recent focus on registrations for its girls teams “had worked well”.

“We’re now looking at extending the pathway for junior players by hopefully fielding a team in Gladesville Hornsby Football Association’s Super League,” he said.

Mr Howard said the club had experienced five years of consecutive growth in registrations with total numbers at more than 500 and further growth anticipated.

“With all the units going up in the area, we’re expecting numbers to reach into the high 600s,” he said.

But Mr Howard, like many local sports advocates, was aware of the challenges that came with that growth, including a shortage of sporting facilities to cater for demand.

Ryde independent councillor Roy Maggio – considered by many the area’s unofficial Minister for Sport – said overdevelopment was adversely impacting the ability of existing facilities to cater to local sporting groups.

Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale and Councillor Roy Maggio are united in their suppot of football

“We’re seeing an unsustainable increase in population and inadequate infrastructure to cater for that – this simply means we’ll see a decrease in service to all residents unless we make some hard decisions now,” Cr Maggio told The Weekly Times.

“On the other hand, one of the rare benefits – and there aren’t many – is that great community-focused sporting groups like North Ryde Soccer Club will grow and become more visible in the area.

“It’s happening across the board with football and now with the Socceroos at the World Cup and the Matildas in the upcoming womens World Cup to inspire kids, we’ll see another spike in participation.”

He said North Ryde Soccer Club’s contribution to the game was clear for all to see, as the club that produced Wilkinson who has gone on to achieve success in a stellar career as one of the game’s best defender and role models, with a likely return to the Socceroos squad likely.

“With ambassadors like that, you can’t go wrong,” he said.

In yet another indicator of football’s expected future growth, the sports top administrator this week announced the Federal Government-funded Sporting Schools program had seen a drastic increase in numbers.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) said there had been a 67 per cent increase in students taking part in their Sporting Schools program with more than 83,000 participants enjoying the program last year.

The Sporting Schools Primary Football program is predominately delivered by Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League clubs as part of FFA’s four year strategy to connect all the parts of the game and convert participants into fans of both leagues.

“Football is the largest club-based participation sport in Australia with more than 1.15 million participants,” FFA chief executive officer David Gallop said.

“And history shows that we get a new surge in participation after every World Cup.

“With the Caltex Socceroos soon to take part in the tournament in Russia and the Westfield Matildas already qualified for next year’s Women’s World Cup in France, we know we will see more and more kids wanting to play the game.”



TWT bowling round-up – 30th May, 2018

(NOTE: The above is only a preview page – to view TWT’s Bowling Round-up page, click on the above page image and you will be redirected to our digital edition (or ‘flip book’). The Roundup this week is on page 26. With best wishes to all members of the local lawn bowls community, from The Weekly Times team)

Husband and wife team collects major title

HUSBAND and wife lawn bowlers Mohan Lal and Maya Lal (pictured) created history at Brush Park Bowling Club recently when they both captured their respective Major Singles titles.

It was the first time a husband and wife pairing had collected the major singles trophies in the same season. Mohan defeated Allen Beloe 31-12 in the Mens final while Maya toppled Jan De Vries in the Womens decider.