What is the Sportsgrounds and Sporting Facilities Strategy?

    The Strategy will guide how Council will manage and plan for community sports and recreation activities over the next five years. This will be achieved by providing the appropriate and necessary sporting infrastructure, facilities and amenities, which can support a range of community sport and recreation activities.

    A clear vision is identified

    Provide a diverse range of sustainable, functional infrastructure that supports active, safe and inclusive participation in sport and recreation across the city.

    And is underpinned by the five Guiding Principles of

    • Inclusive and accessible
    • Participation
    • Sustainable
    • Partnerships and collaboration
    • Safe

    The Strategy considers the existing and future needs of organised sports, including access to sporting grounds and facilities (such as cricket or soccer playing grounds) as well as unstructured and emerging sports and activities (skateboarding; outdoor gyms).

    What is included in the Strategy?

    The Strategy includes ten Key Focus Areas, which represent Council’s strategic priorities for sport and active recreation over the next 5 years. To help achieve these priorities, each Key Focus Area will align with a set of actions. These will guide the refurbishment, management or construction of existing or proposed sport and recreation infrastructure across the region.

    Sports and recreation infrastructure relates to grounds and facilities used by organised community sports (such as football, cricket, hockey etc) as well as independent, emerging or unstructured recreation pursuits (such as outdoor basketball, mountain bike riding, BMX/skate facilities or outdoor exercise equipment).

    Why is there a new Strategy?

    The previous 2017-2021 Strategy has resulted in the successful delivery of several key outcomes over the past 5 years. This includes the renewal and enhancement of supporting infrastructure, including provision of sportsfield lighting, synthetic surfaces, irrigation and drainage, gender equitable amenities, storage, fencing/perimeter control, hardcourts and outdoor fitness equipment.

    Recognising that individual sport requirements and Council’s own services have evolved since 2017, it was timely for Council to revisit the Strategy. The updated Strategy seeks to ensure Council’s priorities continue to align with national and state strategic priorities and changing local trends in sport. The updated document will continue to provide a clear vision and direction for sports participation across our community.

    Who came up with the Vision, Guiding Principles and Key Focus Areas?

    We have worked with key stakeholders within and outside of Council to develop the Vision, Guiding Principles and Key Focus Areas. These include key staff from diverse areas including property and  recreation; infrastructure; strategic planning and community development as well as representatives from different sporting groups and association.

    In 2021, we also invited feedback from the sporting and broader community on these, before developing the Strategy.

    What is active recreation?

    Active recreation is physical activity that we do for fun, leisure of wellbeing, outside of structured or competitive sports. It can be activity that is facilitated such as going to a yoga class or participating in a local park run, or something you do on your own, like going for a walk or using the outdoor fitness stations at the park.

    What are emerging sports or unstructured sports?

    These terms are referring to sports or activities that are increasing in popularity and participation but are not traditionally organised through an association or a club. Many of these sports still require grounds or infrastructure. Examples of some of the emerging sports that have increased in popularity in the Wollongong LGA include mountain biking and BMX biking and skateboarding.

    What about swimming pools and water sports?

    Public swimming pools and associated water sports have been excluded from this Strategy. They are addressed in our adopted The Future of our Pools Strategy 2014-2024.