V I C TO R I A N R U G B Y FA C I L I T I E S DEVELOPMENT PLAN

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1 V I C TO R I A N R U G B Y FA C I L I T I E S DEVELOPMENT PLAN V R U B o a r d a n d C o m m u n i t y P r e s e n t a t i o n M o n d a y 2 1 st N o v e m b e r

2 Project objectives 1. Research and understand the existing distribution of Rugby participation across the State and analyse the potential future demand and subsequent facility implications for the sport in Victoria. 2. Develop a strategic framework for the future planning and development of Rugby facilities across Victoria. 3. Strategically plan for the future usage, access and resourcing of existing and new Rugby facilities across Victoria. 4. Create a complete, current and accessible database of Rugby facilities across Victoria (inc. location, condition, capacity). 5. Identify the requirements of and a potential location for the home of Victorian Rugby. 6. Develop a set of preferred Facility Guidelines and Victorian Rugby Facility Hierarchy. 7. Identify opportunities to assist the growth in long-term participation in all forms of Rugby competition, programs and events across Victoria.

3 Project methodology STAGE 1 STAGE 2 STAGE 3 STAGE 4 STAGE 5 Project Establishment Situational and Supply Analysis Stakeholder Consultation Needs and Demands Analysis Final Reporting and Presentation JUNE - JULY AUG OCT OCT DEC OCT DEC APRIL - JULY Mostly through Stage 3

4 Who has been consulted to date Stakeholders VRU staff Victorian Government Consultation activities Individual meetings and group workshop Through PM meetings and State Centre project definition and scoping VRU clubs Club participants 19/25 clubs on current facility provision, future requirements, opportunities for growth and improvement 180 current participants on facility preferences, barriers to growth Local Government ARU Other SSA s Targeted stakeholders 20/32 targeted interviews on facility provision, participation trends, club development Facility requirements and guidelines, funding opportunities, government advocacy opportunities Co-users of Rugby facilities to identify shared venue improvement opportunities Develop case studies or good venue operating models,

5 WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT PARTICIPATION?

6 Community rugby growth projections Source: Victorian Rugby Union

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11 Team Numbers Club Team Number Trends Team

12 What are clubs saying about future participation in Rugby? Only two of the 19 clubs who completed the online survey forecasted a decrease in club membership levels over the next five years. Clubs forecasting the largest growth over the next five years (20% or more) included Northern, Melton, Brimbank, Shepparton, Box Hill, Kiwi Hawthorn, Ballarat and Racing Rugby Clubs. Junior male participation was identified by clubs as the primary growth area for the sport over the next five years. Junior and senior female and senior men s participations were all similar in-terms of future growth priority and potential

13 Number Supporting Future Rugby Participation Better quality More support facilities from Victorian Rugby Union and Australian Rugby Union Greater promotion of Rugby More support from local Council More competition opportunities Better coaching More introductory Rugby programs and activities Better managed clubs Supporting Element More facilities More social Rugby progams activities More volunteers Other (please specify) Bigger facilities 0 Less facilities

14 Barriers to increasing participation and introducing new players to Rugby

15 WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT FACILITIES?

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19 Facilities 26 Rugby sites across Victoria (22 Metropolitan Melbourne, 4 in Regional Victoria) A mix of rugby sites comprising one, two or three rugby fields A dedicated Home for Rugby in Victoria is highly desired There is a strong relationship between facility location and membership catchment The majority of premier level competition venues are located in Melbourne s eastern suburbs Common issues with rugby venues across the state include inadequate playing field surface conditions, insufficient sports field floodlighting provision, non-compliant change room facilities/ supporting amenities, lack of spectator amenity (shelter and seating) and car parking Improving the condition of existing facilities is as high (if not higher) priority than developing new sites

20 There is strong demand for more fit for purpose rugby venues across the state (e.g. no cricket pitches through playing fields) Limited capacity and provision for venues with match capable lighting Shared use with other sporting codes at multi-purpose sites presents future facility development and partnership opportunities for Rugby in Victoria Traditionally natural grass is the preferred playing surface for Rugby however synthetic surfaces are supported for training activities (longer pile grass preferred) The Harlequin Rugby Club s home ground (Ashwood Reserve) is considered to be the best rugby venue in the state, followed by RHL Sparks Reserve in Box Hill Future proofing facilities (for forecast population and related participation growth) is considered to be a key priority area for clubs The majority of clubs would be willing to conduct training and coaching activities on a World Rugby certified long piled synthetic surface. Seeking greater support and engagement with local Councils, the VRU and ARU

21 Supporting Rugby at a Local Level 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% More volunteers Greater More support promotion of from Victorian Rugby Union Rugby Union and Australian Rugby Union Better quality facilities More introductory Rugby programs and activities More recreational Rugby programs and activities More support from Local Government Provision of a regional Rugby base for competitions, events and higher level training and development Better coaching Better managed clubs More facilities More competition opportunities Bigger facilities Less facilities

22 Facility Development Priorities Kitchen / canteen / bar amenities Car parking Outdoor social / shade area Toilets / showers Indoor social amenities Playing field floodlighting Supporting infrastructure (e.g. spectator seating, shelter, scoreboard) Referee Change rooms Player Change rooms Playing surface

23 According to participants, the top five priorities for the future planning, development and sustainability of rugby facilities in general across Victoria are: 1. Increased promotion and profile or Rugby in Victoria (grassroots through to elite) (192) 2. Improved playing field surface provision and suitability (156) 3. Greater connectivity and promotion within primary and secondary schools (91) 4. Increased number of fit for purpose (rectangular) rugby fields across the State (82) 5. General facility improvements (69)

24 What is Local Government saying about facilities? The majority of Councils are of the view existing facility provision for rugby union within their municipality is adequate. Council s main pressure for additional sports fields are from Soccer and AFL. Generally speaking there is minimal planning in place for additional rugby union facility developments across the state. That being said, a large majority of Councils are planning facility enhancements to existing rugby union venues (e.g. pavilion, sports field floodlighting and drainage/irrigation upgrades) over the next five years. Councils flagging potential future development of new rugby union fields suggested these would most likely be multi-purpose in function and unlikely to be specifically built for rugby union purposes. In general, Councils are currently experiencing greater demand for additional Rugby League facilities. Unoccupied playing fields are few and far between with the majority of Councils reporting their facilities as being at capacity. Developing stronger partnerships with primary and secondary schools is seen as a priority for a number of Councils and an opportunity to increase future facility access opportunities. Several Councils are reviewing or developing strategic planning documents for sport and leisure facility provision over the next 12 months presenting an opportunity for rugby union to have a seat at the table and advocate for improved or new rugby union facilities.

25 What is Local Government seeking from the VRU and clubs to justify new future rugby facility development? Strategic facility planning from the VRU Evidence based demand for Rugby Union in local areas Sustainability of the sport through development of strong and inclusive clubs and activation/connection with existing or new competition structures Detailed Rugby Union facility requirements (minimum or preferred standards) Willingness to share with a co-tenant to maximise facility usage and evidence of existing shared use models Capital investment (this could include co-funding proposals from partnering sporting body) Human resource commitment from the VRU to assist with facility planning and future sport development within the local area (e.g. Development Officer). Evidence of wider community benefit

26 WHAT DO WE DO NEXT?

27 Emerging themes from research and consultation Define facility provision, catchment and services via Rugby Facility Hierarchy Retain and maximise the capacity of existing venues (lighting, surfaces, amenities for players and match officials, unisex provision to support growth) Expand facility provision in areas of new demand (growth areas, under provided areas, regional cities), that also match competition and program growth priorities Progress detailed investigation of a Home for Victorian Rugby and identify critical partnerships Identify school and university facilities and partners where better access to existing facilities can support participation and program growth Integrate facilities as a core theme within all future VRU organisational planning and align with SRV and ARU priorities Identify opportunities to support clubs to gain better outcomes from relationships with councils and other land owners (support, resources, funding)

28 Next Steps 1. Complete stakeholder consultation 2. Complete facility audits 3. Complete needs and demand analysis 4. Conduct an issues and opportunities workshop with VRU staff, SRV and invited stakeholders to present a summary of SWOT, issues and key findings from Stages 1, 2 and 3 (December-January) 5. Produce Project Bulletin #2 (January)

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