Werribee Football Club has received a major off-field boost securing a State Government grant that will assist the club to navigate the remainder of this year’s VFL season and some of 2022.
The club has secured $130,000 in funding through the Strengthening Victoria’s AFL Development Pathways Program set up to help Victorian VFL clubs recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Werribee was one club that strongly advocated for a funding package for second tier clubs set to compete in a restructured VFL competition that now includes teams from NSW and Queensland.
The club’s CEO Mark Penaluna met regularly with Member for Werribee and Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, over a period of 12 months following the cancellation of the 2020 VFL season.
Penaluna said it was fantastic to be a successful recipient of this State Government funding.
“We are very thankful to the Victorian Government for making this money available and for granting our application successful,” he said.
“We have been fortunate to have ongoing financial support from our sponsors and members, but like all clubs we have taken a significant financial hit in the last year without any football being played in 2020.
“This money gives us the opportunity to plan with some degree of confidence for the next few months and as we move into 2022.”
Werribee and Victoria’s other six standalone VFL clubs received the maximum level of funding. AFL-affiliated VFL clubs - Box Hill Hawks, Casey Demons, and Sandringham - each received $65,000.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula, announced the recipients on Sunday.
“The VFL has a famous history in Victoria and provides an important bridge between local football and the AFL,” he said. These grants will help our clubs build on their legacy and recover strongly after a coronavirus wipe-out in 2020 and further disruptions this year.”
The funding will help reimburse clubs for costs related to complying with COVIDSafe protocols and practices, as well interstate travel required as part of the new VFL competition.
Werribee will play its first interstate game on the weekend of July 24 & 25, traveling to the Gold Coast to face Southport Sharks.