Grassroots sports clubs across Australia will have the opportunity to purchase new equipment or fund other programs aimed at getting more young people playing sport following a new $500,000 grants program conducted by the Australian Sports Foundation.

The grants program initiative will be launched at the Sutton Forest Inn, in the Southern Highlands of NSW, on Monday June 17 commencing at 6pm.

Cash grants will be available to grassroots not-for-profit clubs to help those under 20 years of age play sport, whether it’s $3,000 for bats and balls, $5,000 for uniforms, or larger sums to help youngsters travel to participate and compete.

Australian Sports Foundation Chief Executive, Patrick Walker, said the special grants program was created following a generous donation to the Sports Foundation from a major benefactor.

“To play sport you need a bat or a ball, a uniform or another piece of essential equipment, and these grants will provide important grassroots opportunities for girls and boys to get active and enjoy the multitude of benefits sports participation provides,” said Mr Walker.

“Our donor has been, and continues to be, an active sports participant. He wants kids off the streets, avoiding trouble and away from sitting and playing computer games. Instead, he wants them outside being active, having fun and getting healthy.

“He knows sport participation provides young people with an organised structure under adult supervision which helps them develop the necessary physical literacy skills and gives them the confidence and capability to remain active for life.

“When kids play sport, they learn good habits, how to get on with one another, how to control aggression and how to win and lose with humility.”

Mr Walker said the grants were available to all sports.

“It doesn’t matter what equipment is needed – it could be for a new set of cricket pads, netball rings,  bicycles, hurdles, javelins, climbing or swimming equipment. However, the grants can cover a wider range of needs – literally anything that’s needed to get more young people active through sport” he said.

Clubs in the locality wishing to attend the evening at Sutton Forest Inn on June 17, or those located elsewhere wishing to find out more about how to apply for grants, should contact info@sportsfoundation.org.au for more details.

For media inquires: Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communication, Mob: 0418 239 139

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