Local sporting clubs often struggle to raise the funds to support their players at a higher representative level.
But a new grant, called the Local Sporting Champions, is designed to support up-and-coming athletes pursue their involvement in high level competitions.
Last month, the Federal Government announced the new grants for young sportsmen and women who aim to travel to and compete as sporting elites.
President of the Goulburn and District Netball Association, Buddy Ahearn, said that such grants would be a boon.
Representative sport, “it’s costly,” Ahearn said.
“If the associations, whether it be netball or any other sports, aren’t doing any other fundraising, the kids have to come up with the funds.
“Our girls going to State Age in July, it’s going to be $600 a head just for the three day event.
“Anything that our politicians can do to try and help these kids is all good in my books.”
The grant covers state, national, or international competitions, and the money awarded goes towards accommodation, travel, equipment.
It is only available to athletes between the ages of 12-18, coaches, and umpires or referees and, if successful, the applicants will receive $500 dollars toward their expenses.
President of the Goulburn District Junior Cricket Association, Rob Jolliffe, said that the grant would be particularly helpful for athletes in rural areas.
“Being in a rural centre, any assistance from the government makes those commitments a lot more achievable for parents,” he said.
“From a sporting body perspective, we’re always looking for any opportunity to help our kids fulfil their dreams of playing in a higher level.
“So it’s good to see the government come on board and provide that initial assistance.”
Member for Hume Angus Taylor encouraged parents and players throughout the electorate to apply for the grants.
“This is a fantastic program that helps Australian kids to pursue their sporting dreams,” he said.
The application period for the grants closes on June 30.