Christie Park will gain a much needed facilities upgrade after the City of Ryde approved the construction of new amenities and additional training facilities.
The venue, which plays host to the North West Sydney Football local Federation, has long been part of the history of football in Sydney’s North West, home to the North West Sydney Spirit, previously Gladesville Hornsby Spirit, and the successor to NSL side Northern Spirit.
The Macquarie Park site is also home to the NWS Koalas, a female only club that competes in the NPL Womens’ competition, fielding teams from juniors through to Seniors.
Christie Park is also the home for the local refereeing association, the North West Sydney Football Referees Association.
All levels of the grassroots game will benefit from the new upgrade, with office space and a function room for use by sporting groups, along with female-friendly change rooms, and improved access for those with disabilities.
The venue also recently received two FIFA-accredited synthetic fields, capable of hosting state-level competitions in the future. The venue currently plays host to NSW NPL competitions, along with finals for the local Federation.
The City of Ryde Mayor, Clr Jerome Laxale said the council’s vision was to make the venue a regional hub for the game that serviced all levels.
“The popularity of football is booming in the City of Ryde at all levels of participation and the improvements that we are undertaking at Christie Park will not only ensure that the venue will be able to meet the growing needs of the local community, but also the North-West Sydney region,” Clr Laxale said.
“Most importantly these works focus on providing elite facilities for local female clubs. With the Women’s FIFA World Cup being played in Australia in 2023, it’s crucial that councils invest in elite facilities for females who have historically struggled for access to such facilities.
Football NSW Chief Executive Officer Stuart Hodge reinforced the benefits the facility upgrade will bring to the football mad community.
“City of Ryde and all the football users of Christie Park have partnered together to achieve so much in the last few years. This Christie Park masterplan compliments the NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy, and the importance of developing Homes of Football,” Mr Hodge said.
The upgrades, set to commence construction this year, will be funded by the City of Ryde and the NSW Government’s Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson also supported the news.
“As the number one team based and most multi-cultural, diverse and inclusive participation sport in Australia which is confronting a chronic facilities shortage throughout the nation as a direct consequence of football’s continued and strong participation growth, we welcome this announcement by the City of Ryde,” Mr Johnson said.