Jewel of the south wins top facilities gong

Artie Smith Oval, home of the Bomaderry Tigers, has won the 2023 Ken Gannon Community Football Facilities Award for NSW/ACT.

The Tigers played Round 2 of the AFL South Coast season at its improved home ground on the weekend with men’s reserves, women’s premier and men’s premier division sides showing off the new facilities to Kiama Power.

The $20 million facility was designed in-line with the AFL’s preferred facility guidelines and have vastly improved the experience of participants and umpires, particularly women and girls who now have female-specific amenities.

The Artie Smith Oval upgrade was funded by the Shoalhaven City Council and through the NSW Government’s Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund. Its upgrades include new:

  • – Playing field
  • – Clubhouse and amenities
  • – Spectator seating
  • – Carparking
  • – Electronic scoreboard
  • – Croquet courts and clubhouse
  • – Play and exercise equipment
  • – Fencing
  • – Landscaping and associated infrastructure.

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley, said the win cemented Artie Smith as a prestige facility capable of hosting both local and major sporting events in the Shoalhaven. “The transformed Artie Smith Oval caters to the high-quality training and sporting needs of our local clubs and we’re delighted to be recognised by the AFL for this fantastic award,” she said.


Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley, alongside Men’s Reserve Grade Captains Matthew Ganderton (Bomaderry) and Jayden Andrews (Kiama)

Neville Hickmont, Life Member and Treasurer of Bomaderry AFC said: “Shoalhaven can proudly boast a facility of their own that is the equal of any others out there and the Bomaderry Tigers are grateful we can play here week in, week out. The facility will help continue the growth of AFL in the region and bring the community closer together by fostering a strong sense of pride and community spirit.”

Michael Stanton, AFL NSW/ACT Venue and Government Partnerships Manager, said: “Credit to the Shoalhaven City Council and the Bomaderry Australian Football Club for being so proactive in the wake of the 2020 Black summer bushfires by seeking and obtaining significant bushfire recovery funding from the federal government to progress this project.

“The upgrades designed and constructed in-line with the AFL’s Preferred Facility Guidelines will provide greater flexibility in fixturing and become a major focus for AFL junior finals and events for the region, with excellent facilities for participants, umpires, and spectators across many levels.”

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley, with Sam Thomson, AFL NSW/ACT’s Venue and Government Partnerships Manager