In an Australian first, South West Sports Assembly in Victoria has formed a sports ‘Microbank’. This great innovation gives recipients an interest free loan allowing them to participate in sporting activities while addressing the main barrier to this activity - cost.
Sports Without Borders contribution to South West Sports was a foundation grant of $5,000. It is intended to help newly arrived young people from the area who are interested in sport by introducing them to local clubs and the wider community.
The initiative impressed SWB Chairman, James Demetriou. "SWB has always found innovative ways to support newly arrived young people who’d like to participate in sports. SWB saw this as ground breaking and a better and more effective way to include more marginalized young people in sport activities. This was the type of partner concept that SWB was looking for so we joined forces with the regional sport assemblies to support them with the funding,” he said.
The loans will be used for equipment, sporting uniforms, registration, training courses, memberships and elite sporting activities with a view to helping build community cohesion and harmony.
Funds will be available for people with disabilities, low incomes, indigenous and CALD (Cultural and Linguistically Diverse) backgrounds.
The South West Sport initiative major supporter is South West Credit and other partners include Rural Access Program, Netball Victoria, Tennis Victoria, Basketball Victoria, Community Connections and Sports without Borders.
For more information on the project please contact Lorraine English, South West Sport - Participation in Community Sport and Active Recreation Program Manager or Judi Mutsaers, South West Sport - Access for All Abilities Program Manager on 03 55611689.
Enquiries can also be directed at Thomas Demetriou, Sports Without Borders on 0400 002 953.