Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has welcomed the announcement of a government program aimed at boosting female participation in sport, and is calling on local groups to put their hands up to secure the region’s share of the money that’s been made available.
The Level the Playing Field Program is open to providers of grassroots sports to fund new and upgraded facilities, and deliver fit-for-purpose amenities, like change rooms and lighting.
“Prior to the release of the State Budget I called on the government (Daily Telegraph OpEd 25/8 below) to do more to increase female participation in sport – particularly in rural and regional areas – so I’m pleased to see the government were listening and have recognised the importance of nurturing our local talent, particularly our younger community members,” Ms Cooke said.
“Grassroots infrastructure projects like these were previously supported through the Coalition’s Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF), which the NSW Labor Government has cancelled.
“Under SCCF round four for example, almost $50 million was invested in projects aimed at increasing female participation in sport specifically in rural and regional areas.
“Compare that with Labor’s program, which is worth $30 million and is to be distributed across the entire state, and it’s clear that we must do our utmost to ensure a decent share of the funding on offer, goes to rural and regional areas.
“There are a number of projects in our Cootamundra electorate that would certainly benefit from funding under the Level the Playing Field Program, and my message to those groups is to apply as soon as possible – I’m more than happy to help if you need any help or support.
“By investing in sports at the grassroots level, we are promoting physical fitness, mental well-being, and social cohesion, all of which leads to building healthier more vibrant communities,” she said.
Applications close at 1pm Thursday 30 November, 2023. For more information about the Level the Playing Field Program, email email@example.com or phone Steph’s office on (02) 6382 2399.