New sport and physical activity programs encouraging Australians to run, play, skate, sail and ride are among those to receive funding through the second round of Sport Australia’s Participation Grant program.
Sharing in $10.3 million worth of grant funding, the 36 new programs will provide more opportunities for Australians to connect with sport and get physically active.
Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck said the Morrison Government was proud to invest in programs that bring communities together.
“Sport continues to face ongoing challenges as a result of COVID-19,” Minister Colbeck said. “These grants will help increase participation in sport and physical activity by delivering free, inclusive and high-quality programs for everyone to enjoy.
“Through this grant program, we’re making communities stronger, more resilient and active.”
Successful recipients include AUSTSWIM, with their program to address a shortage of swimming and water safety teachers by re-engaging with swimming teachers who have left the industry.
AUSTSWIM CEO Simon Weatherill said the initiative aims to bring the number of swim teachers back to pre-COVID levels.
“While demand for swimming and water safety lessons has recovered quickly, the training and accreditation of teachers has not kept pace, leading to a shortage in swimming and water safety teachers.”
Funding received for the “Creating Jobs, Saving Lives” project will support 900 swim teachers by covering the costs associated with getting and maintaining their qualifications.
Skate Australia will establish come and try events nationwide to provide opportunities for skaters to join competitions, clubs and events.
It follows a successful Olympic debut for skateboarding at the Tokyo Games which included a men's park gold for Keegan Palmer as well as a huge uptake in roller skating during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Skate Australia Executive Director Ariane de Rooy said: “We're excited to increase awareness of skate sports like roller derby, speed skating, artistic skating and inline hockey as well as the increasing number of learn to skate options for all ages.
“One of skate's core values is inclusion and we're thrilled to provide more opportunities for people of all backgrounds and genders to give skating a try.
“In addition to the Paris and LA Olympics in the coming years, the World Skate Games will be held in Argentina in October 2022 and we're always on the lookout for emerging talent.”
Deaf Sports Australia will also partner with the AFL to improve access for deaf and hard of hearing Australians who love playing football.
Deaf Sports Australia General Manager Phil Harper said the grant is an acknowledgement of the barriers that deaf and hard of hearing Australians face when participating in sport.
“More than 2000 children and adults across three states who are deaf or hard of hearing will benefit from this project to make AFL more inclusive, accessible and enjoyable,” Mr Harper said.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to create solutions to significantly raise participation levels in AFL.”
Indigenous Basketball Australia’s project will encourage young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to get involved in basketball as a player, coach or official.
Motorcycling Australia will deliver a national program for entry level riders to encourage young Australians and their families to ride, while Lacrosse Australia will partner with UniSports Australia to deliver social and modified Lacrosse programs to 18–25-year-olds.
Sport Australia Acting CEO Rob Dalton said the program will help more Australians enjoy the social, personal and health benefits of being physically active.
“It was great to receive such high quality applications. This diverse range of programs will encourage even more Australians of all ages and abilities to get involved in sport and physical activity,” he said.
“Through this grant program, we will support tens of thousands of Australians to get active and build a healthier and happier nation through sport.”
The list of successful applicants is available on Sport Australia’s grants and funding page.