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Opinion

Grant program to help clubs, communities

If your golf club is in need of money to help fund a “dream project” to improve the facility, boost participation and help gain (or regain) the club’s status as a community hub, then a recent announcement by Sport Australia will be music to your ears. 

Sport Australia last month announced the Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program, which features a $29.7 million budget to fund capital projects with a focus on improvements to existing sport infrastructure.

Essentially, the program has been created to help small to medium-scale projects of up to $500,000 that improve the local community sport infrastructure (boosting participation in sport and physical activity) while also offer safer and more inclusive community sporting hubs.

As many of our older readers will recall, golf clubs were once considered THE hub of a community—most notably in smaller regions or towns.  Essentially, the club was a focal point where a community’s residents would come together to socialise, participate in important discussions, and (obviously) get some much-needed exercise and fresh air.  Unfortunately, time has seen the “hub” of a community slowly shift to other areas/facilities (or even online), and the once proud golf club has often been relegated to a quiet, forgotten (and sometimes considered elitist) subsection of the community.

So this grant program is the perfect opportunity for golf clubs like yours to not only boost participation at the club, but also help drive community engagement. An added benefit is that you could get some valuable upgrades in the process.

With the announcement of the program, Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said golf clubs and facilities were in an ideal position to apply for a share of the grant.

“As we know, golf clubs and facilities are more than just places to play golf – they provide the infrastructure that extends to the broader community, harnesses the value of green space and in many situations can become the new ‘town hall’. Facility planning is an important strategic priority for us and this grant opportunity certainly supports this important area. It also encourages innovation and greater diversification of golf’s offerings to appeal more to new and existing participants.”

As we all know, golf is a game for life, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and genders. It is an ideal candidate for grants of this nature. So, whether your club wants to install (or upgrade), say, a multi-sport court, or perhaps install/upgrade lighting, women’s change-rooms or similar projects to help promote sport to the community, this is a golden opportunity to get the ball rolling.

I’ve included some information in the box below, and I encourage you all to give it a go and apply. There’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain!

See you on the fairways,

Richard Fellner

By Richard Fellner

Winner of multiple Australian Golf Media Awards – including "Best Column" for his monthly Starters Box column as Editor for Inside Golf Magazine – Richard Fellner is the quintessential Golf Tragic—having played the game for over 40 years (but has never gotten any better.) He has played and reviewed courses all over the world, and has interviewed many of the great players of the game (including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Greg Norman). Richard is a member of both the Australian Golf Writers Association and the Golf Society of Australia, and he is a regular guest on many Australian "sports talk" radio shows and networks, including ABC Grandstand, SEN 1116, Melbourne Talk Radio 1377, 2GB and others.

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