Thursday, 6th March, 2014
By By Ethan James
Broken Hill grassroots sporting clubs and organisations that are doing it tough are being urged to apply for state government assistance.
Applications opened this week for funding as part of the New South Wales government’s Participation and Facility Program.
Minister for Sport and Recreation, Gabrielle Upton, said the program was targeted at assisting grassroots clubs with the construction of new facilities or the enhancement of existing facilities.
She also said money would be put towards delivering services aimed at increasing participation.
“I am passionate about encouraging more people of all ages, from all walks of life, to get active through sport,” Ms Upton said.
“Whether it is in Dubbo or Drummoyne, I have seen first-hand how modern facilities make sport more accessible which in turns encourages more people to get off the couch and get active.”
Ms Upton is urging councils to get involved to ensure that programs are properly directed at the relevant community.
“I want to make sure the funding delivers the best bang for the taxpayers buck,” she said.
“As a result local councils will be required where possible to partner with a community organisation to ensure any new facilities or programs meet communities’ needs.”
Grants are capped at $25,000 for facility projects and $10,000 for participation schemes.
Organisations must also contribute 50 per cent towards the project which can include voluntary labour, donated materials or equipment and other resources.
The government announcement came on the same day as it was revealed that changing demographics are negatively impacting participation rates in country towns.
Research undertaken by University of South Australia Academics claims that population trends in rural towns are placing local sport under threat.
Several issues that are negatively affecting participation levels include the trend of school-leavers vacating and an absence of volunteers to facilitate organised sport.
It also highlighted the drought as an influencing factor, with time-poor farmers and graziers finding it increasingly difficult to give their time.
Applications for funding close on April 2.
More information can be found by visiting www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/grants or calling 13 13 02.