Migrant groups, people with physical and intellectual disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be the focus of a new initiative aimed at ensuring all Australians can participate in sport and physical activity.
Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck, says 57 clubs and organisations across the nation will benefit from a $19 million funding allocation aimed at addressing issues facing the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
The program, Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity, is designed to strengthen communities through participation.
“Sport and physical activity is a key element of a stronger, more resilient, more connected life,” Minister Colbeck said. “This is even more important as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The grants are the outcome of an open competitive process run by the Federal Government last year, with more than 850 applications received.
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.
“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.