Migrant groups, people with physical and intellectual disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Mallee will be the focus of a new initiative aimed at ensuring all Australians can participate in sport and physical activity.
Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, welcomed the allocation of $179,000 in funding for Horsham Golf Club and $250,000 for the Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council, both one of 57 successful recipients selected as part of the program, Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity.
The $19 million initiative is designed to strengthen communities through participation.
“The Horsham Golf Club was identified as serving an important role in bridging the divide and encouraging social inclusion,” Dr Webster said. “SMECC’s program ‘Inclusive Sports for the Newly Arrived’ is a great initiative to get recently arrived immigrant involved in sport and into the community, allowing them to get involved in community quickly, creating rapid social cohesion.
“This organisation and others like it continue to play a vital role as we strive toward being more inclusive.”
The grants are the outcome of an open competitive process run by the Federal Government last year. It attracted more than 850 applications.
All projects that have been awarded funding were recommended by the Department of Health.
The program will also target female sporting groups.
It is part of the Government’s $71 million investment in social cohesion initiatives to build stronger communities.
Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck said sport and physical activity is a key element to a stronger, more resilient and connected life.
“This is even more important as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Colbeck said.
“It is important for all Australians to have opportunities to lead an active and healthy lifestyle,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Supporting organisations to promote sport and physical activity as a powerful tool for inclusion is a key part of addressing this problem.
“Australians want to get moving again. We want sport and recreation – with all the health, economic, social and cultural benefits – back in our communities.”
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and community-based group sport and physical activity resumes, grant recipients have been given an extended timeframe to December 2022 to deliver funded activities.
Senator Colbeck reiterated advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), recommending the resumption of sport and recreation activities must be done safely and not compromise the health and safety of individuals and the community.
Further information about the Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity program is available here.