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Backing Grassroots Sport And A Level Playing Field

20 May 2021

The Andrews Labor Government is backing more community sporting clubs, better local sports facilities and the opportunity for women and girls to take their game to the next level.

An investment of $70.6 million in the Victorian Budget 2021/22 will be a boon for players, volunteers and officials, while also creating more than 150 local jobs.

Some $55 million will deliver new and improved community sports infrastructure across the state, with a particular focus on providing facilities to encourage participation among women and girls through the popular Female Friendly Facilities Fund.

Projects funded in the Budget include a new pavilion and community space at Jack Edwards Reserve in Oakleigh, improvements to clubrooms at Blackburn Cycling Club, the development of an outdoor community gym in Delacombe and upgrades to facilities at Barwon Heads Tennis Club.

Recent projects include new changerooms at the Old Aerodrome Sporting Complex and Kenny Park in Mildura, improved netball facilities at the Inverloch‑Kongwak Sea Eagles Football Netball Club in Gippsland, a pavilion for the Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association and an indoor basketball hub for women and girls at Mill Park.

The latest round of applications will open later this year.

This builds on last year’s $110 million Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program, which fast‑tracked shovel‑ready projects, supporting more than 500 jobs for local workers.

The latest funding takes the Labor Government’s investment in community sports infrastructure to more than $1.1 billion since 2015 – an investment that has strengthened local sporting clubs and created new jobs across Victoria.

The Budget also provides $11.6 million to continue programs that are driving participation and inclusion for women and girls. This includes boosting Change Our Game activities to achieve greater visibility of women and girls, as well as continued scholarships, community action and broadcasting programs.

The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation was established in 2017 and was the first office of its kind in Australia. More than 380 Change our Game grants have been awarded to organisations and individuals working and volunteering in the sports and recreation sector, community sporting clubs, and state sporting organisations.

The Labor Government will fund the ongoing operation of the Office, making sure we’re supporting the next Meg Lanning or Tayla Harris.

The Budgetprovides $4 million to support the Reclink ActiVIC program of pop‑up sports days that open doors to sport and recreation for disadvantaged young people across the state.

Through the program, young people get the opportunity to try new experiences, expand their social network and build the confidence that can lead to continued sports participation and employment.

More than 2,800 people took part in the program in its first year, with a quarter of all participants reporting they had subsequently gained work or had their work hours increased, while a similar number had undertaken further skills‑based training.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence

“Victorians love their sport and this boost gives clubs even more opportunity to open their doors to more people in their community – women and girls in particular.”

“We’re levelling the playing field, providing new and improved facilities and making sure clubs can return to play – while also supporting and creating local jobs.”

“Victoria was the first state to establish a dedicated office focused on women in sport and we’re proud to be backing the Change Our Game program to continue delivering results.”

Reviewed 20 May 2021

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