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Office of Sport

Female Friendly Community Sport Facilities and Lighting Upgrades Grant Program

The NSW Government has committed up to $25 million to the Female Friendly Community Sport Facilities and Lighting Upgrades Grant Program (the Program). The Program investment will revive sport facilities by providing new and redeveloping existing sport facility bathrooms and change rooms. Funding will also support the provision of new and upgraded lighting that will enable more women and girls to train and compete in sport in a safe and inclusive environment.


Potential applicants are encouraged to review our frequently asked questions to ensure that their application addresses the relevant requirements.

View the guidelines here. 

Important dates

  • Applications open – Wednesday 19 October 2022
  • Applications close – 1.00pm Wednesday 23 November 2022
  • Outcomes advised – January 2023 onwards
  • Funding agreements executed for successful projects – within 3 months of notification of outcomes
  • Construction must commence by 30 June 2023. Projects to be completed by 30 June 2025.

Key objectives

The primary objectives of the Program are to:

  • Increase the number and type of safe, equitable, accessible, and inclusive sport and active recreation facilities across NSW
  • Foster positive sport and active recreation experiences for women and girls through the provision of welcoming and supportive community spaces and environments
  • Increase utilisation of sport and active recreation facilities for women and girls through enabling more female participation opportunities.

Secondary objectives of the Program are to:

  • Increase utilisation of sport and active recreation facilities for people with disability, First Nations peoples and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities through enabling more participation opportunities
  • Contribute to the evidence base in supporting best-practice female inclusive design
  • Incorporate environmental sustainability and climate resiliency into design, construction, and operation.

Funding availability

The NSW Government is allocating up to $25 million for this Program.

  • The Program is for the capital cost of a project only. Applicants are responsible for project administration costs, non-fixed or movable equipment and the ongoing operation of the facility.
  • The grant amount requested by an applicant must be a minimum of $50,000 and cannot exceed $500,000.
  • All applications are required to provide a minimum 25% financial co-contribution of the grant amount requested (e.g., if an applicant’s grant amount requested is $200,000, they should demonstrate at least a $50,000 financial co-contribution, therefore the total project cost will be $250,000).
  • Applicants that cannot meet the funding co-contribution expectation may apply for financial hardship. A financial hardship application provides applicants the opportunity to outline why they should be exempt from the requirement to provide a minimum 25% financial co-contribution of the grant amount requested. Financial hardship applications are to be made as part of the application process.
  • Financial hardship may be granted where a project is located in a disadvantaged area of NSW and/or is recovering from a significant natural disaster or pandemic (e.g., COVID-19 or other exceptional circumstances). The Socio-Economic Index for Areas (SEIFA), published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), will assist in measuring disadvantage.
  • All successful applicants must enter into a funding agreement with the Office of Sport. Grant payments will not be made until an executed funding agreement is in place and the Office of Sport will not be responsible for any project expenditure until this time. Project construction is to commence by 30 June 2023, and it is expected that project construction will be completed by 30 June 2025. Funding approval may also have specific conditions that have been determined during the assessment process.
  • Applicants can submit up to three (3) applications in total. The applicant can advise of their project priority ranking in the application form. All projects will then be assessed in line with the Guidelines.

Eligible applicants

  • Local government authorities in New South Wales
  • Regional Joint Organisations of councils, the Lord Howe Island Board and the Unincorporated Far West groups
  • NSW Office of Sport recognised NSW State Sporting Organisations (including National Sporting Organisations where the state body is part of a unitary governance model)
  • Incorporated, community-based, not-for-profit sporting organisations (clubs and associations whose primary purpose is to organise sporting activities/deliver sport programs)
  • Organisations providing sport and recreation programs that benefit the community, such as PCYCs, YMCA and YWCA
  • NSW based professional sporting organisations competing in a national or state competition
  • Private enterprises (companies established under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), incorporated associations established under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW) or incorporated limited partnerships established under the Partnership Act 1892 (NSW)).

Applications involving partnerships between groups are encouraged and will be considered favourably for example a sporting organisation with a council. A council may apply on behalf of a sporting club or association; however, the council will be the grant recipient and responsible for project delivery.

Ineligible applicants

Ineligible applicants are any organisation types not listed in the ‘eligible applicants’ section, and include (but are not limited to):

  • Individuals
  • Schools, TAFEs, and Universities
  • Parents and Citizens (P&C’s) Associations
  • Progress Associations
  • NSW Institute of Sport, Australian Sports Commission (incorporating the Australian Institute of Sport) and NSW Regional Academies of Sport 
  • Australian Universities with NSW campuses 
  • Other community based or religious groups that do not have a primary purpose of sport and/or recreation
  • NSW Government agencies.

An eligible organisation will be deemed not eligible for funding under this program if they are an organisation named: (i) by the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse on its list of institutions that have not joined or signified their intent not to join the Scheme; or (ii) in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that has not yet joined the National Redress Scheme.

Eligible projects

Applications should be limited to constructing new or redeveloping existing sport amenities (change rooms and bathrooms) and lighting projects. The Program will prioritise facilities that demonstrate inclusive and accessible design, maximise women and girls’ sports participation and can demonstrate provision of accessible program content and scheduling for women and girls.

Projects must be on be on land within NSW. Applicants should submit a landowner consent form for the project on the land on which the facility is to be developed or redeveloped.

For projects located on public land, a landowner consent form or signed letter of consent from the appropriate authorised delegate must be provided. For example, for projects located on public school land a letter of support for the specific project must be provided from School Infrastructure NSW as part of the application.

Additional information also sought includes evidence of applicant’s tenure and lease arrangements.

Examples of eligible project types and project components include:

  • Construction of new or upgraded (including prefabricated modular facilities) unisex and universally designed change rooms for female participants, coaches, and officials.
  • New and/or improved lockable shower and toilet cubicles.
  • Provision of parent and child change spaces.
  • Construction of new or upgraded lighting to sports fields, sports courts or playing areas (e.g., bowling greens) that support increased use time and area coverage and/or achieve environmentally and operationally sustainable outcomes.
  • Construction of new or upgraded lighting around sport facilities that improves safety for women and girls (e.g., connectivity pathway lighting between fields and clubhouses).

Project’s design components for change rooms, bathrooms, and lighting:

  • New and upgraded provision of disability access and universally designed female change room and bathrooms amenities that are beyond compliant and provide dignified inclusion in sport participation.
  • Environmentally and operationally sustainable initiatives that support energy savings including new or upgrades to sport field/court lighting including technology-controlled and LED lighting and installation of solar panels and smart metering technology.

The Program will not fund the following projects or project components:

  • Costs associated with preparing and submitting the application or feasibility, design, or development stages including feasibility studies, business cases and masterplans
  • Projects that do not meet relevant Australian standards
  • Projects on private land unless there is clear public benefit to the community’s interest in sport and active recreation and have documented consent from the landowner
  • Facilities where little or no public access is available
  • Projects related to buying or upgrading non-fixed equipment (e.g., computers, office goods, sports equipment)
  • For the purchase or lease of land/facility
  • Related to administrative or operational expenditure which are normally the responsibility of businesses, state agencies or local councils
  • Retrospective funding, where projects have commenced construction or are completed prior to the execution of a funding agreement, or which could proceed without any NSW Government financial assistance
  • Projects that have already been funded by the NSW Government unless significant new project scope is identified
  • Arts, music, craft, and recreation facilities that provide experiences that do not meet the definition of sport and active recreation
  • General maintenance or replacement costs through normal wear and tear (e.g., painting, running costs and minor repairs to existing facilities)
  • Repair of facilities where the damage can be covered by insurance
  • Upgrading or redeveloping public toilet facilities, except as part of a larger project that meets the objectives of the Program
  • For the maintenance or construction of car parks.

Application process

Step 1: Check your eligibility

  • Before you apply, please read these guidelines and supporting documents to make sure you understand all relevant requirements, including whether you are eligible to apply.
  • You can find the relevant information on the Office of Sport’s website:
  • Projects must be submitted through the SmartyGrants website to be considered eligible.

Step 2: Prepare your application

  • Applying for the Program is a simple process using the SmartyGrants platform
  • The Office of Sport recommends that applicants familiarise themselves with the online application form ahead of preparing the application and plan ahead of the closing date. You can download a copy of the application form prior to commencing your application.
  • Complete the application by filling in each of the sections.

Step 3:  Submit your application

  • Upload all required supporting documentation.
  • Submit your application before the closing date and time.
  • Projects must be submitted through the SmartyGrants website to be considered eligible.
  • Successful submissions will be issued with a SmartyGrants system generated acknowledgement email containing a PDF copy of the application which will confirm the time the application was submitted.
  • If for an unforeseen reason you are not able to lodge your application on time, you must contact the Office of Sport, Grants Infrastructure Team at the Office of Sport at or phone 13 13 02 at the earliest possible time and within one hour of the closing date/time.

Late applications

  • Late applications can only be considered where an applicant has started an application in SmartyGrants prior to the closing date/time.
  • A late application will only be considered where its acceptance would not compromise the integrity and competitiveness of the process.
  • Any requests received prior to closing will have their application form re-opened for late submission in SmartyGrants until 5pm on the day of closing.
  • The final determination on whether a late application will be accepted will be made by the Grant Assessment Panel supported by a probity advisor.

Late supporting documentation

  • If any document is not available prior to the closing date/time and you would like to submit this for consideration you must contact within one hour of the closing date/time.
  • Late supporting documentation will only be accepted for applications already submitted in SmartyGrants and where its acceptance would not compromise the integrity and competitiveness of the process. Any late supporting documentation received within 24 hours after the closing date/time will be taken into consideration for assessment by the Program Team.
  • The final determination on whether a late supporting documentation will be accepted will be made by the Grant Assessment Panel supported by a probity advisor.

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions about the application process.

Contact Us

Information session

The information session will review the program in more detail and will provide Q&A opportunities.

Watch information session

View information session notes

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