In an effort to keep up with the demand for community sporting facilities and to help boost participation in sport and physical activity, the Federal Government has invested a total of $100 million over three rounds of the Community Sporting Infrastructure Grants (CSIG).
Prior to the weekend’s Australian election, Federal Minister for Sport, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said the CSIG was heavily over-subscribed, with over 2,000 applications being received and nearly 680 projects receiving funding across Australia.
Senator McKenzie advised “(we) are investing in upgrading sporting facilities across Australia because we recognise the wider health, social and community benefits that come from greater activity and participating.
“We know that investing in sport is smart business: it returns $7 for each $1 invested.
“Our Government is committed to reducing physical inactivity among Australians by 15% by 2030, and we are determined to bring the health, social, cultural and inclusion benefits of sport and physical activity to all Australians.”
Senator McKenzie explained that Australia’s first sports plan, Sport 2030, highlights the importance of Australia’s network of community-based sporting clubs and competitions as a unique source of social capital which helps bind Australian communities together.
Around 92% of Australian adults have an interest in sport, 11 million adults and 3 million children participate in sports each year, people who play sport are 44% more likely to have mixed-ethnic friendship groups than non-participants, and a rich network of sports clubs and competitions exist across the country supported by the largest group of volunteers in the country.
Senator McKenzie said that the CSIG recognised the reality that many sporting facilities were built many years ago and don’t reflect the increasing demand for change rooms and other facilities for women.
She added “the success of our Diamonds, Matildas and other professional female athletes has encouraged a tsunami of young girls across the country to get more active.
“Women have often not had access to appropriate change room facilities resulting in them having to get changed behind towels on the side of fields or in cars, and having to go home for showers.
“This is a major deterrent for women wanting to participate and to feel like they are welcome in clubs across many sports.
The CSIG is part of a broader $2.5 billion investment in sport and physical activity across Australia by the Federal Government since 2013.