Singleton returns to play

Singleton Roosters’ senior women’s and men’s sides returned to the field on Saturday, 15 July for the first time since the Greta bus tragedy claimed the lives of nine people connected with the club and injured many more.

On a day bathed in sunshine, the club’s spirit shone brightest, with long guards of honour greeting the women and men out of their rooms before each match.

The Roosterettes were up first, bravely taking on Cardiff Hawks and narrowly missing out on a fairytale win, going down by 13 points.

The men’s team, competing in the Black Diamond Shield, were too strong for the Entrance Bateau Bay, recording a stirring 43-point win.


NSW Premier announces funding for major upgrades

The NSW Premier, The Hon Chris Minns MP, attended the return to play with a special announcement for the club.

The NSW Government committed $1.7 million towards the expansion of the Singleton Roosters AFC clubhouse and facilities at Rose Point Oval which will include a permanent memorial element to acknowledge those who lost their lives in the Greta bus tragedy.

Head of AFL NSW/ACT, Tiffany Robertson, also attended the matches and announced the AFL will provide $250,000 to the $2.2 million project from the Australian Football Facilities Fund.

The expansion, which the club has been planning for some time, will be a boost to the Singleton AFC clubhouse and precinct, ensuring the club’s sustainability and inclusivity for years to come.

Among the planned enhancements are new change rooms with shower facilities, storage spaces, umpire areas, a scorers’ box, first-aid room, toilets (female, male and accessible) and internal renovations of the existing building to upgrade the kiosk, kitchen and meeting room.

The funding for the club upgrade includes $1,700,000 from the NSW Office of Sport under the Partnership Program 2022/23 and $250,000 from the AFL’s Australian Football Facilities Fund. Singleton Council also plan to make a funding commitment.

Announcing the contribution to the new facility in front of the Roosters’ senior women an men’s team, the Premier said: “The Tragedy in Greta was felt right across NSW and it is appropriate that a commemoration is built to mark the loss of lives and their legacy in the community.

“This investment recognises the emotional toll of the recent bus tragedy, providing a space for healing and unity within the Singleton community.”

Also at Rose Point Oval for the Roosters’ return, Tiffany Robertson said: “This community may never fully heal, but the AFL is proud to play a small part on the steps for the Roosters to recover from the devastation.

“The funding committed to the upgraded amenities here at Rose Point will provide a meeting place to play sport, form friendships, have fun and remember those great characters.

“The AFL is proud to support such a strong footy community in Singleton and the entire AFL Hunter Central Coast network to grow even stronger together.”

Singleton Roosters’ President and senior men’s player, Dylan Hixon, said the club was resolute through the crisis and reiterated the Roosters were a big family, supporting each other throughout the extremely challenging moments and great sadness of the past month.