Unley Oval scores a win!

Published on 10 May 2024

Unley Oval Grandstand

The City of Unley and Sturt Football Club have won a prestigious national award for Unley Oval’s grandstand redevelopment, with facilities which provide enhanced amenities for players, the Sturt football community, and the broader Unley community.

The Ken Gannon Community Football Facilities Award was presented to the City of Unley’s Mayor Michael Hewitson and Sturt Football Club President Jason Kilic at a luncheon on Sunday 5 May. Every year, the Ken Gannon Award recognises best practice in community football facility development across Australia, along with the people, clubs and allied stakeholders who collaborate and drive our nation’s best community-level projects.

Unley Oval’s redevelopment previously garnered the SANFL Community Football Facility of the Year in 2023. The iconic oval’s redevelopment has been undertaken in stages, with phase two delivering state-of-the-art training facilities for both male and female players, a versatile function room in the remodelled Jack Oatey Grandstand, and well-equipped office spaces for club administration. There has been a strong focus on the Unley populace in the redevelopment, with the refurbished grandstand space offering an exceptional venue for corporate and community-based functions such as seminars and training forums.

City of Unley Mayor Michael Hewitson says he is delighted with the recent award in recognising the project and what Unley Oval offers to football, local sporting groups and to the community.

‘This project has been about much more than simply upgrading an ageing arena. There was a very clear vision for its staged revitalisation over time to finally realise what all the partners in this project have achieved. This national award is a huge win for our city, for local sports clubs to enable them to expand their football programs for both male and female participants, and for community use.’

‘Congratulations to everyone involved in this landmark project, and to the AFL for recognising the thought and work that has gone into its redevelopment with the Ken Gannon award. Unley Oval has always been at the heart of this community, and this latest recognition emphasises the importance of our shared vision to ensure it will remain a vital part of its life for generations to come.’

Sturt Football Club Chief Executive Officer, Sue Dewing, said that receiving a second award was validation of the collaboration between Council and the club, also acknowledging the significant funding support from the Federal Government’s Local Roads & Community Infrastructure program. ‘The strength of football has been underpinned by a strong focus on communities and the growth of female participation in the game over the last decade, with almost half of community venues now hosting female competitions.’

‘I’m thrilled to be involved in the sport as CEO of our football club at this juncture in history where amazing work is happening to improve facilities like ours, where we can now offer an outstanding resource and space for young women to be immersed in the sport as players, coaches, and leaders.’

‘I would like to thank the judges at the Ken Gannon Community Football Facilities Award for this award in recognising Unley Oval as the South Australian recipient for 2024. It’s incredibly special and something that our city, club and community should be very proud of.


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