THE Scone Gymnastics Club are starting the year on a high after securing a $38,629 government grant to upgrade community hall facilities.
The club is one of four across the New England to share in $142,000 under the Australian Government’s Community Sport Infrastructure Grant program.
The Tamworth Junior Riding and Pony Club have received $40,000 for irrigation of their pony club arena.
The Werris Creek Golf Club will take delivery of a cart shed after it was awarded $15,695 and the Willow Tree Bowling Club $48,000 for a bowling green refurbishment.
Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the aim is to increase sports participation so local people are more active, more often.
“Sport plays a big role in our communities here in the New England, it goes to the heart of our local identity,” he said.
“That is why our government has prioritised investment in local grassroots sports because we recognise the wider health, social and community benefits that come from greater activity in sport.
“Our investment will not only raise the standard of these facilities in our regional communities, it will also provide real encouragement for kids, parents and older Australians who are not currently active in sport, to pull up the socks and have a go.
“Hopefully we’ll see more happy little faces at the Scone Gymnastics Club thanks to this funding.”
The grants will be a major boost to all organisations, particularly Willow Tree Bowling Club which was gutted by fire in January 2017.
“It’s great we can help return the club to its former glory with the help of this funding,” he said.
The number of applications received nationally - 2,053 – was far more than anticipated and to meet the obvious interest, the government will allocate an additional $30 million for projects in early 2019 from the existing pool of applications.
“This demand has demonstrated that sporting and community organisations are crying out for help to upgrade their facilities and because of the Liberal National government’s responsible economic management and delivery of a budget surplus, we are in the position to increase the investment,” Mr Joyce said.