Richmond Football Club is now one of Australia’s most diversified sporting businesses.

Aligned Leisure, a 100% owned subsidiary of the Richmond Football Club, has successfully won the tender to manage Cardinia Shire Council’s major recreation facilities.

The contract will see Aligned Leisure manage eight major facilities within the Cardinia Shire, which is located 50kms south east of Melbourne in one of Australia’s biggest population growth corridors. The facilities will include Cardinia Life Aquatic and Recreation Centre, Pakenham Regional Tennis Centre and four seasonal aquatic facilities. In addition, the currently under construction Officer Community Hub as well as an outdoor synthetic sporting facility will form part of the management contract.

With the new sites set to open in 2016, it is expected that visitation across all eight will be in excess of one million people annually.

“The board and management have a responsibility to our members and supporters to build a strong, sustainable football Club and today’s announcement is a significant part of delivering on that promise,” Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said.

“Elite-level football is highly-competitive and it is critical we identify opportunities to diversify and grow our business where it makes strategic sense. It is bold, innovative and has been a long time in the planning.

“We have built our internal capacity in recent years and have a highly capable management team with years of experience in community health and fitness”, Gale added.  Aligned Leisure will be headed up by Cain Liddle, Richmond’s General Manager of Consumer Business and Shane Dunne, Consumer Strategy Manager, both of whom have almost 15 years’ experience in the management of community recreation facilities.

“While decisions such as these are about our future, they are also about strengthening the community in which these facilities will operate.  We look forward to providing Cardinia Shire residents with outstanding service and unprecedented value beyond that through our school and sports programming.”

Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Jodie Owen said the tender process had been an exhaustive one and she was thrilled to announce that Aligned Leisure would manage the facilities and deliver unprecedented value to the local community.

“We are excited to be commencing this partnership with Aligned Leisure.  In addition to the management of our facilities, Aligned Leisure’s commitment to the Shire will extend into the delivery of an award-winning fitness, nutrition, diversity and resilience program. This program will now be made available to all primary schools in Cardinia Shire free of charge. This is only one example of the programs, services, activities and events Aligned Leisure will provide to our community”. 

“In total, this agreement with Aligned Leisure will deliver almost $2 million in additional community value and we think that is a great outcome for our community.”

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan congratulated Richmond on winning the tender.

“Richmond has shown itself to be a bold and progressive club that has a great understanding of community engagement and who genuinely want to make a positive impact on the communities that they work within.  We congratulate them on winning this tender and they have the full support of the AFL,” McLachlan said.

Aligned Leisure will commence management on July 1, 2016