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New elite training centre for AFL’s Richmond FC

Aussie Rules team Richmond Football Club’s vision for a fully integrated, elite training and education hub has moved a step closer.

The new training centre will be built at the Swinburne Centre in Melbourne after the Federal Government announced a $15 million commitment to the project.

Central to the redevelopment is the establishment of the William Cooper Centre, to support community programming and women’s football.

Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said:

We believe football clubs have the capacity – and responsibility – to bring people together, to bind and strengthen communities. We sincerely thank the Federal Government for sharing our vision.

This facility will broaden and deepen Korin Gamadji Institute programming, strengthen our partnership with the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) and provide a permanent home to the Bachar Houli Foundation, cementing the legacy of a great Australian.

Significantly it will also provide the administration space and facilities to enable the delivery of exceptional men’s and women’s football programming. Today is a very significant step forward and we will now continue to work to source the remaining funding required to bring this $60 million vision to life.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the William Cooper Centre would bring together sport, culture and diversity under one roof. He said:

Australians know all too well that the power of sport extends beyond the boundary line and that’s what establishing the William Cooper Centre is all about.

This Centre encourages inclusion, promotes understanding and will empower young Australians from a diverse range of backgrounds to achieve great things. We’re building on our plan for Australia’s population with projects like this, by helping promote stronger ties within our communities.

It will serve as an enduring legacy for its namesake William Cooper, who was one of the leaders of the NAIDOC movement, and has inspired generations of Indigenous people to follow in his leadership.

Image: Richmond FC star Morrison Bachar Houli with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg at the funding announcement.

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