AFL Queensland to use Byron sports complex as training base
BYRON Shire Mayor Simon Richardson is a dyed-in-the-wool Collingwood fan who loves to get along to local Byron Magpies games just so he can yell "Go the Pies!"
So yesterday he was thrilled to sign a lease and licences that will see AFL Queensland have a training base at the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex for the next five years.
The deal includes an $80,000 investment by AFL Queensland for goal posts and nets for the fields.
"AFL really does set the benchmark for participation and junior development,"Cr Richardson said.
"It's also the code that understands that you have to spend money to develop.
"It's testament to the worth of what we have built here that we can attract an organisation of this stature."
Cr Richardson signed the agreement with AFL Queensland CEO Michael Conlan, who was at the sports complex with his staff for a two-day conference.
Conlan said the move would provide great benefits for the local AFL and sports communities.
"Our investment at sports complex will provide a top-quality training and football education facility that will greatly enhance our talent and participation programs for residents of the Byron Shire and the greater Northern Rivers region," he said.
"Byron Shire Council has been very supportive in recent months, and we look forward to a long and rewarding partnership at (the sports complex)."
Cr Richardson said the introduction of the new direct management model was a turning point for the complex.
"It gives the opportunity for sporting groups to take up residence at the facility and we look forward to welcoming more of them here," he said.