Funding for young local sporting champions

Twelve individual grants of $500 and one team grant of $3,000 will be available to help meet costs such as travel, equipment, uniforms, and accommodation.

The Local Sporting Champions program is another example of the Rudd Government’s commitment to supporting young people.

“This program is about recognising and supporting our young sporting talent,” said Mr Clare.

“It will give our local up and coming stars an opportunity to represent our community, an opportunity that they may not have been able to take for financial reasons,” said Mr Clare.

“In these tough times, things like sporting trips are often the first thing to go from the family budget.

“This will help ensure that local sporting talent is nurtured,” Mr Clare said.

In order to be eligible to receive a Local Sporting Champions grant, applicants:

  • must be aged 12 to 18 years (inclusive);
  • must be required to travel a distance of 250 kilometres or more, return;
  • be participating in an official national sporting organisation (NSO) endorsed state or national sporting competition, or national school sport competition.

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is responsible for the management and coordination of the program and all applications will be assessed by the ASC.

A list of applications that meet the eligibility criteria will then be provided to the Blaxland Local Sporting Champions Committee for their consideration and decision.

The Committee will consist of Dick Phillips, Tony Re and Olympian Rebecca Rippon:

  • Dick Phillips has been a valuable member of the Bankstown Sports Club since 1971. He has been involved with community sport through his various roles on the Bankstown Sports Club Committee for 28 terms and was the Sports Director for 23 years. Dick is a regular attendee to junior teams in a wide variety of sports and is a patron to 11 different sports clubs.
  • Tony Re is a life member of the Bankstown Sports Athletics Club. During the 25 years he has been at the club, he has often sat on the committee and through his role as a teacher and school principal in the local community; Tony was the program manager of sport for the South-West Region of schools, managing school sport for over 200 schools.
  • Rebecca Rippon is one of the finest athletes our local area has produced. After a fourth place in Athens in 2004, Rebecca won a bronze medal for Water Polo at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. As a junior, she competed for the Birrong and Bankstown Sports Swimming Club and is currently a swimming coach for Bankstown Sports.

“Dick, Tony and Rebecca are leaders in our local community and will do a great job in nurturing our up and coming sporting champions,” Mr Clare said.

Tony Re said, “Sport is an excellent way of uniting young people.”

Rebecca Rippon said, “This money will be a welcome relief for parents who want to support their children in their sporting endeavours.”

“It’s a positive step to keeping kids in sport, helping out financially where their parents may not be able to,” Ms Rippon said.

The committee will provide independent advice on the selection of the candidates.

Applicants for the Local Sporting Champions grants are encouraged to visit www.ausport.gov.au/champions or contact the office of Jason Clare MP on (02) 9790 2466.

Media Contact: Chris Zogopoulos
T: 02 9790 2466