Unique field officially opened

The first synthetic AFL oval outside of Victoria was officially opened on Tuesday night with an exhibition match testing out Narrabeen Sports High School’s new fields.

The 2012 Premiership winning Under-12 team from the Pittwater Tigers Junior AFL Club took to the new fields, which the school will use during term time and community sporting groups will be able to use outside school hours for training and games.

In a unique partnership between AFL NSW/ACT, the NSW Department of Education (DET) and Pittwater Council, the local community now have a junior-sized synthetic multi purpose AFL oval and an upgraded natural playing field located at the school.

Both have floodlighting installed to allow night games and training to take place, with water off the synthetic oval being captured to irrigate the second oval.

“This is a fantastic outcome for the local community,” said AFL NSW/ACT Facilities Manager Anthony Brooks.

“Pittwater Council has shown great leadership and innovation to partner with the DET and NSHS to maximise its facilities and create a wonderful facility.

“This venue ensures local sport won’t be called off due to inclement weather and kids can play sport in a safe and healthy environment.”

AFL NSW/ACT is a major contributor to the project and will have access to the main field during the winter season for AFL training and games.

AFL NSW/ACT General Manager Tom Harley said partnering with both parties had increased opportunities for both the students and local communities to use a first class sporting facility.

“AFL in NSW has had its biggest year of participation to date and we’re committed to providing excellent infrastructure for communities to participate in Australian football,” Harley said.

“We value the opportunity to collaborate with schools and local governments through partnerships like this to deliver an innovative sports field solution.”

The project has taken less than 12 months to complete from conceptualisation and the new fields will host school academy programs, junior matches on weekends, mid-week training for men’s and women’s teams and AFL 9s games.