The football season has kicked off at the ever-popular Bay Olympic FC. Situated in New Lynn’s Olympic Park, the club is one of the largest in West Auckland.
During the season, over 1,000 players take to the field each week proudly wearing the club’s vibrant green kit. There’s a place for everyone, from juniors and seniors to social players and fiercely competitive ones. Bay Olympic welcomes enthusiastic footballers of all ages and abilities.
This season is extra special for the club as it celebrates its silver jubilee. Bay Olympic was formed in 1998 when Blockhouse Bay and Green Bay-Titirangi football clubs amalgamated. A series of special events are being planned to mark this significant milestone.
In addition, the club has been selected as one of 15 New Zealand base training camps for teams competing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The tournament will kick off in July and is jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Bay Olympic will host the Philippines, providing a base camp for the team to prepare and train for the competition.
‘It’s an exciting time for women’s football in New Zealand,’ says Volunteer Funding Coordinator Tina Ivory. She reports that Bay Olympic has recently made great strides in increasing football’s popularity among women and girls. Indeed, current Football Fern Grace Jale started as a youngster at Bay Olympic. The club now has more female players than ever, and being selected as a FIFA World Cup training camp is the icing on the cake.
According to Tina, it’s also led to a significant upgrade of the club's facilities. Bay Olympic has benefitted from a major revamp, including changing rooms, fields and floodlighting. The club now boasts some of the best playing facilities in the country.
And it’s great to see Bay Olympic on the up after the challenges of the last few years. Thanks to the pandemic, play was disrupted for several seasons. And that had a massive impact on Bay Olympic’s bank balance and plans for the future.
However, applying to the 2022 round of the Your West Support Fund made a crucial difference. The $5,000 funding was used to help with salary costs.
Tina explains that in 2021 the club restructured its staff roles and appointed a Football Operations Manager to work closely with the Club Coordinator. ‘Both these roles are focused on members,’ says Tina. ‘They make sure members and volunteers are looked after. From enrolments and skills training to the maintenance of the clubrooms, they are responsible for the smooth running of the club,’ she adds.
The Football Operations Manager and Club Coordinator were instrumental in Bay Olympic’s successful application to become a FIFA Women’s World Cup training base. And they have also secured funding from Aktive and the Tu Manawa Aotearoa fund to continue developing women's and girls' football.
There are exciting times ahead for Bay Olympic FC. So, check out all the action on the club's website.