Helping sporting competitions thrive through COVID-19

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

Community sport in the Moira Shire and even closer in the Yarrawonga Mulwala region has been given a boost thanks to a grant from the Victorian Government aimed at helping local leagues and associations ride out the coronavirus pandemic and come back ready to play.

Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp MP last week announced two local sporting leagues and associations in Yarrawonga-Mulwala Basketball Association and Picola & District Football Netball League will share in $15,625 funding approved for the Moira region from the Government’s Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package.

Yarrawonga Mulwala Basketball Association President Amanda Wheaton said the basketball association was unsure of the exact figure they are to receive but will put the funding to good use with the purchase of COVID essential items.

“We are thrilled to be receiving this Victorian Government Grant to assist us in re-activating our local basketball competition,” Ms Wheaton said.

“The funding will certainly help with the purchase of essential items needed to be COVID compliant, such as stadium signage, sanitiser, wipes and a computerised check-in procedures. 

“These are crucial to enable us to return to play and provide the children in our area with a safe means of exercise. This is so vital for their physical and mental health in these times and we welcome the opportunity to return to sport when this can eventually occur.”

Mr Gepp said these grants will enable the following leagues and organisations to meet fixed costs to ensure they can remain operationally viable and provide a valuable boost for their clubs and membership, and it will also help them safely operate and reactivate at the other side of the coronavirus pandemic.

“These organisations are an integral part of our local community. The Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Survival Package is helping the competition and clubs keep their eyes towards a return to play,” Mr Gepp said.

“Ensuring community sport and active recreation organisations survive this crisis and come back better than ever is critical to our economic and social recovery, and to our community’s physical and mental wellbeing.”

Since the start of the coronavirus shutdown, the community sport and active recreation sector has suffered significant revenue losses, putting sporting associations, leagues and clubs at financial risk.

The Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package is rolling out grants in four categories: grants of up to $350,000 for large state sporting associations; grants of up to $200,000 to smaller state sporting associations, regional sports assemblies and academies and other state sport and recreational bodies; grants of up to $15,000 for associations and leagues; and grants of $1,000 for individual clubs.

There are now 200 local leagues and associations across the state who have scored a share in more than $1.4 million thanks to the Victorian Government’s Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package. 

The grants are part of the Government’s strong investment in supporting community sport and active recreation in these challenging times.

“From supporting our local clubs and sporting associations, to investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects— I am proud to be part of the Andrews Government that recognises the importance sport and recreation plays in building resilient and healthy communities,” Mr Gepp added.

The Victorian Government is also investing $68 million in shovel-ready community sport and active recreation infrastructure projects across the state, to stimulate jobs and economic activity, and deliver fantastic new projects to local communities as part of the new $2.7 Building Works package.