The South Sydney Rabbitohs have welcomed the support from the alternative New South Wales State government, with Labor committing to $5 million in funding towards the Rabbitohs’ Community and High Performance Centre of Excellence at Heffron Park in Maroubra.
The $5 million promised towards the Community and High Performance Centre of Excellence in South Sydney is part of a broader funding model that saw Labor leader Luke Foley announce that a Labor Government will invest up to $55 million to help deliver 10 high-performance, community-based Centres of Excellence linked to National Rugby League clubs across NSW.
The announcement was made today at Heffron Park with Mr Foley joined by former General Manager of Souths Cares and Rabbitohs Chief Commercial Officer, Shannon Donato, as well as Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis, Deputy Labor Leader Linda Burney, Shadow Treasurer and Member for Maroubra Michael Daley, Coogee Labor Candidate Paul Pearce, Wests Tigers forward Aaron Woods and Sydney Roosters ambassador Anthony Minichiello
Coupled with $10 million in funding from the Federal government announced in October last year; plus additional funding and support from Randwick City Council, the National Rugby League, Souths Juniors and Marcellin College; the Rabbitohs and Souths Cares have now secured the final piece of the puzzle and can lodge development applications to begin construction on the 5000-square-metre facility at Heffron Park.
Rabbitohs CEO John Lee said: “Following the generous support of the Federal government and their $10 million commitment to this community project, the State governments realise how important these kinds of developments are for communities around New South Wales.
“We welcome the commitment made today by the Labor party in New South Wales and we look forward to pressing ahead with our plans to develop a community and high performance centre which will aid the work done by Souths Cares, other community partners such as Souths Juniors, Randwick City Council and Marcellin College, as well as our Football Club.
“Having seen some of the facilities that sporting clubs and their community arms have around the world, most recently in the UK, projects such as these help clubs build a greater connection to their communities as well as help players develop themselves both on and off the field.
“These facilities will enable the Club and Souths Cares to at least double the programs run for Members of our community over the coming years, and help our Football Club and its players build a stronger connection with our communities all over the state and country.
“The support we as a Club have received from all areas is fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing this development take place in the not-too-distant future.”
Labor Leader Luke Foley said: “NSW is the traditional heartland of Rugby League. Labor’s investment will see fantastic facilities built for the benefit of the whole community.
“The benefits of sport to our young people is widely known and Labor is pleased to support the great work the game is doing in local communities.
“NRL teams form an integral part of our community – and these facilities across the state will help rugby league clubs roll-out community programs, while at the same time creating modern community facilities.”
The Rabbitohs are now waiting to see if the Baird State Government will match the promise made by the Labor party today.
The Rabbitohs will take on the Wests Tigers in a Sunday afternoon blockbuster at ANZ Stadium this Sunday, 22 March at 4pm. Tickets are available through Ticketek.