The Covid-19 crisis has devastated our economy and turned lives all over Australia and around the world upside down. Among the many impacts has been a virtual cessation of sport at all levels, and while the suspension of the AFL and NRL and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have grabbed the media headlines, the most damaging aspect to our community resilience and mental health has been the embargo on community and grassroots sport.
It is at times like these that the power of sport to improve physical and mental health, to relieve stress and anxiety and to bring communities together is most needed.
The enforced absence of community sport is therefore being keenly felt. As Australia’s peak body for philanthropy in sport, the Australian Sports Foundation is deeply aware of this and is working tirelessly to help clubs and communities survive the crisis. As a registered charity and Deductible Gift Recipient, the Sports Foundation is uniquely able to raise funds through community and philanthropic donations to assist community sport.
Crisis funding – meeting immediate needs
Covid-19 threatens the very existence of thousands of community clubs all over the land. Anyone involved with grassroots sport will know that community clubs live hand-to-mouth, relying heavily on volunteer support and member contributions to survive. The cessation of sport means even this meagre income stream has stopped. To make matters worse, sponsors and benefactors (often the local pub or club) are under pressure themselves, and traditional forms of fundraising – such as a barbecue or sausage sizzle – are impossible.
We know that funding and support is urgently needed to help community clubs survive this crisis.
Crisis funding – enabling a return to sport
When the time comes, sport will play a huge part in rebuilding community resilience. Research shows that when recovering from crisis or disaster, some of the best ways to heal people and communities include:
Of course, community sport is a great way to achieve each of these and will play a fundamental part in the recovery as Australia returns to normal. Sadly, even those clubs that do survive lockdown are likely to lack the funds to meet demand – or to cope with increased costs, such as new hygiene measures, which will be a necessary part of returning to community sport. Even worse, hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of Australians will be unable to afford the costs of participation, including registrations and other fees for them or their children to play.
Register your interest in learning more about your club can access new philanthropic funds we are raising to help community sport by signing up to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter
If you want to know more about how you can make a tax-deductible donation to help community sport survive this crisis, contact Courtney Henry on 0426 174 158 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There has never been a time of greater need for community sport. As Nelson Mandela famously said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.” We need to keep our grassroots clubs – the lifeblood of communities everywhere – alive so we can rebuild a healthier, more inclusive Australia.