Ipswich 'people power' delivers state league for city
In a massive boost to women's sport in Ipswich, Football Queensland has this afternoon reversed the decision to punt the Western Pride Football Club from the statewide football competition in 2018.
The Ipswich-based Western Pride women's teams will now play in next year's competition under a revised format.
The club and community was in uproar after the initial decision.
Acting Mayor Paul Tully wrote a letter to Football Queensland's CEO Geoff Foster to reverse the decision, which would have prevented the Pride from fielding under 13, under 14, under 17 or a senior women's team in the elite female league from 2018.
Cr Tully, speaking to the QT late this afternoon, said he was delighted with the breaking news.
"On behalf of the people of Ipswich, thank you Football Queensland," he said. "This is tremendous news for women's sport in Ipswich and it shows what people power can do.
"The Western Pride was supported by the community. It was a short campaign to get Football Queensland to reverse their decision but common sense has prevailed.
"This is fantastic news for 2018."
Foster said the decision was reached after new information was presented by Pride, regarding the significant $40 million sports facilities development in Springfield Central.
He said the information required consideration due to its extraordinary nature and Football Queensland strived to make decisions based on what is best for football in the state.
Foster worked closely with Pride and Ipswich City Council to explore the information and its bearing on Pride's application.
"This is a positive outcome for football in the region and it was encouraging to see the weight of support coming from the community, Ipswich City Council and Acting Mayor Paul Tully," Foster said. "Their ongoing support will prove invaluable as Pride continue to strengthen their women's football program."
Foster said Football Queensland looked forward to seeing the positive impact the Springfield development had on women's football in years to come.
The format of the NPL Women's Queensland competition was being finalised for the 2018 season.