Western United Football Club’s positive impact on soccer in Ballarat is set to be further enhanced after the City of Ballarat extended its agreement with the club.
The 12-month agreement extension worth $85,000 enables Western United to continue its valued association and work within the Ballarat community, while also providing an economic boost to the city.
The renewal aligns closely with the City of Ballarat’s Sports Events Acquisition Plan and continues to cement Ballarat’s reputation as an elite sports destination.
The womens’ side played in Ballarat three times in their debut season in 2023 and the mens’ side has been playing in the city since 2019.
The hugely successful Western United Cup will return later this year after the popularity of the inaugural 2022 event, which saw hundreds of female soccer players flock to the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility for the three-day tournament.
City of Ballarat Councillor, Cr Ben Taylor said the relationship with Western United had been of great benefit to Ballarat.
“Although hosting the matches in Ballarat provide an economic boost every time a match is held, it contributes in so many other ways,” Cr Taylor said.
“On their very own doorstep, Ballarat people can watch soccer at an elite level and that is definitely going to help the sport grow.
“The addition of the Western United womens’ side also provides another huge boost that aligns with our girls to increase female sport participation as part of our Active Women and Girls Strategy.
“Western United has already shown a tremendous commitment to the Ballarat community, which is fantastic for an elite sporting organisaiton.”
Western United CEO Chris Pehlivanis said he and the entire club were excited to further develop the partnership with Ballarat and engage further with the local community.
“The partnership with Ballarat has been such an integral part of our club’s journey in our formative years,” he said.
“Our Ballarat fans and family are a crucial part of our team. They’ve been integral to our journey as a Club so far. I’m really excited to continue this journey with them and grow the great game in the region.”
Western United host Perth Glory at MARS Stadium at 5pm on Saturday 4 March.