TWO local clubs have a lot to cheer about after receiving sporting grants from shopping giant Coles.
The Ponds Little Athletics Centre has been given a much-needed funding boost for its upcoming season thanks to a $3,500 grant and Hawkesbury Little Athletics has received $2,900 in the latest round of the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund.
The welcome boost comes after a challenging year for many, which saw Little Athletics centres around the country close first due to the devastating bushfires and now from COVID-19.
The two clubs are among 158 grassroots sports club across Australia to share in $521,000 for sports equipment. It is the single largest round of grants distributed to Little Athletics centres since the Coles fund was established two years ago to support little athletes hoping to follow in the footsteps of champions like Sally Pearson and Brandon Starc.
The grant comes amid research from the Australian Sports Foundation in July which estimated that over 16,000 local sports clubs were at risk of closing due to reduced revenues and increased costs arising from COVID-19.
The Ponds Little Athletics Vice President Kathy Kingcott said the grant would be used to buy electronic starting guns, marquees and additional field equipment to get our athletes and volunteers back on track after a tough year.
“The new gear, especially the electronic starting gun will help our athletes better prepare for zone and region carnivals,” she said. “We’ve been using flags as our starting method at our club nights and our athletes will benefit greatly from a move to an electronic starting system, particularly for those with aspirations to go onto higher levels where this is used.