28.2 C
Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Football fan fights for elite academy in Lismore

Latest News

Go Thistles!

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club has launched the Thistles Acceleration Program, in the process becoming the city’s only player development academy. 

Other News

Cheeky Cabaret returns!

Following the Cheeky season is some incredible live music, including Ella Hooper: Small Town Temple tour, Libby O’Donovan – cabaret singer extraordinaire, Stella Donnelly: Flood Australian tour, Liz Stringer and William Crighton co-headlining in a powerhouse performance, and the house is thrilled to announce the fabulous Tim Rogers & The Twin Set coming in April.

Byron Bay SLSC takes fourth place at NSW country championships

South coast club Warillanhas overturned five years of Cudgen Headland dominace to win this year’s NSW Country Surf Lifesaving...

Food prices are up, and so is…

I was shocked to see the cost of local bread I buy in Mullumbimby had risen 40 per cent. That particular loaf is becoming a luxury item.

A play that puzzles and delights

The multi-award-winning play is a puzzle of scenes that are slowly put together by the audience to tell the...

Witches in the Starcourt

A new year is here! It’s a time for women all over the region to pick up their brooms and set their witchy intentions for 2023. There is no finer time and place to do it than with your Country Witches, comedian Mandy Nolan and singer/songwriter Áine Tyrrell. 

Big fleet chases class championship

Twenty-one boats took to the water to compete in one long race that made up the fourth instalment of...

Oliver Hoath-Bastion is asking for help to keep the Lismore-based Liverpool Football Academy running. Photo supplied.

Ross Kendall

As local teams prepare for the resumption of competitive sports over the next few weeks an 11-year-old football fanatic has vowed to continue his campaign to stop the closure of the Lismore-based Liverpool Football Academy.

Oliver Hoath-Bastion and his team mates were ready to return to training last month with the elite football academy, run in conjunction with the Southern Cross University, when the news came through without warning that the program had been closed.

‘It was kind of confusing. I was really devastated,’ he said.

Oliver set about galvanising local support to have the closure decision overturned and started an online petition with change.org to make it happen.

Positive community response

What started out with some door-knocking, ended up with a petition signed by over 2, 000 people in three days.

‘Liverpool has helped me, so I wanted to help them,’ he said.

Mainstream media got behind the story and political support soon followed with the Lismore mayor Issac Smith, state member Janelle Saffin, and federal member Kevin Hogan, all backing the idea of continuing the program in some way.

‘Since opening five years ago Liverpool International Academy Lismore has had 1,500 players and 150 coaches in its program which means a lot of families in the Northern Rivers are going to be effected by it closing,’ Oliver’s petition says.

Remi Bastion, Oliver’s mum, understands that the SCU is in serious financial difficulties because of COVID-19.

If the Liverpool Academy can’t find another supporter, she and Remi are hoping that an alternative high-level junior program can be organised to make it possible for local rep teams to travel to Queensland to play in the A-league competition.

Among others she has spoken with Football Far North Coast.

‘This Academy has given me more confidence in myself, it has helped my football skills, motivated me to keep aiming higher, and has given me the feeling that I have a real chance of becoming a professional footballer,’ Oliver’s petition says.

On Tuesday (7 July) the petition had 2,598 supporters and Oliver has vowed to keep the campaign going.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. An 11-year-old football fan puts in a kick and a campaign so that Lismore-based Liverpool Football Academy will not close.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pothole protest gets immediate results

Psst: want to get Council staff to do something about the appalling state of roads in your neighbourhood? Organise a protest outside Mullum’s Council Chambers! By...

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Art imitates life in What’s Love Got to Do with It? a 2022 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur, from a screenplay by Jemima Khan.  The precis reads: ‘Set between London and Lahore, a filmmaker documents her childhood friend and neighbour’s arranged marriage to a bride from Pakistan.’

We’ve had the rain bomb, is a fire bomb next?

We had the Black Summer fires and then the floods and NSW Farmers says time is running out to prevent more mass bushfires at the end of this year.

A smorgasbord of flicks

This year’s smorgasbord of over 40 incredible short films are handpicked from a record 3,200 entries received for Flickerfest’s Academy® and BAFTA Qualifying short-film festival screened recently in Bondi, and Northern Rivers audiences are the first in Australia to experience the best of Flickerfest on tour. Highlights enjoying their Northern Rivers premiere include recent Academy® nominees and much-loved festival award winners alongside exciting, fresh, local talent.