Football club blooms out of Providence’s field of dreams

Football club blooms out of Providence’s field of dreams

5 JUN 2019

Some people move to a new suburb and look to join a sporting club.

Brodie Kenyon (pictured centre above with RVFC committee member Nick Paterson and Okeland Communities' Michael Khan) and his mates went one step further when they set up home in Providence - they decided to start their own.

“It doesn’t happen every day that you can start a new club with new facilities,” said Mr Kenyon, the inaugural president of Ripley Valley Football Club, the fledgling soccer outfit based at the recently opened $4 million sport and recreation precinct at Providence.

“When we learned there were new sporting grounds coming to Providence, the local residents’ committee put a message on Facebook asking what type of sport everyone likes and the most popular response was soccer.

“Most of the committee members have children and those who don’t are still very family-oriented so we thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great to start a whole new club at a brand new facility in a brand new suburb’.

“We’ve all played football extensively and thought we’d love to watch football on a Sunday afternoon with our kids but had never considered founding our own club.

“Now Providence has given us the chance to make this club our own.”

Ripley Valley FC is one of three sporting clubs that has received Ipswich City Council’s blessing to be based at the new precinct, with Swifts Rugby League Club to share the facilities during winter and South East Redbacks Cricket Club to call it home during summer.

The precinct is spread across 4.5 hectares and features a collection of regulation-sized fields and an integrated oval. It also includes a 100-space car park, playground and barbecue facilities.

For Mr Kenyon, the Ripley Valley Football Club motto says it all when it comes to the club’s ethos – “Respect, Community and Pride”.

“All our committee members live in Providence so you can definitely class us as a ‘home-grown’ club,” he said.

“Our motto was formed around what Providence as a community offers and hopefully what Providence has given us, we can give back to the people in the club.

“We’ve got a lot of care factor when it comes to club football. We are very inclusive. We keep all our members updated and in the loop instead of keeping decisions behind closed committee doors.

“We also treat everyone equally. Just because ‘Bob’ has played football for 40 years doesn’t make him any more important than ‘John’ who has only been playing for three months.”

With about nine teams across men’s, women’s and junior divisions – including two men’s teams contesting this year’s Football Brisbane Capital League 3 division – Ripley Valley Football Club aims to cater for all playing preferences, be it competition, skills development or social.

“Our vision is to one day have our top team playing in the local premier league, along with reserve grade, a women’s team and social teams,” Mr Kenyon said.

“We have about 100 juniors at the moment but have the capacity for 200. There is also a mini group of 20 to 30 three- to six-year-olds in the ‘kick-off’ program who have not played before and are learning to kick the ball and master basic skills.

“There’s been a lot of positive feedback. We’ve had a lot of compliments from Football Brisbane, Ipswich City Council and a lot of other clubs who are proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time.”

Many of those other clubs also likely look at Ripley Valley Football Club’s home grounds with a touch of envy.

After years of planning and nearly 12 months of construction, an official ceremony was held in April to celebrate the arrival of a precinct that will provide clubs, athletes and local residents with a place to come together to enjoy Queensland’s great outdoors and rich sporting heritage.

“We have seen the quality of facilities used by other clubs so it will be pleasing to show everybody what kind of facilities we have available to us here,” Mr Kenyon said in the lead-up to the ceremony.

“Our numbers are increasing and thanks to these facilities we will be able to grow alongside the community.”

Mr Kenyon said the club’s current priority was to build funds and playing numbers, but ambitions existed for it to become a prominent sporting institution in the area.

And regardless of what the future holds, there is one fact that will never change.

“It’s exciting to know we haven’t had to take over someone else’s club,” Mr Kenyon said.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work but there’s no doubt Ripley Valley Football Club truly belongs to the Providence community.”

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