Thursday, May 4, 2023

Everyday Australians help make Sport accessible - 2023 Grants

Sport Access Foundation

Paralympic Gold Medallist Katie Kelly OAM PLY has opened the Sport Access Foundation (SAF) 7th consecutive year of offering sporting grants.

This year we would like to specifically acknowledge for our 2023 grants program, those in our community of donors and supporters who have fundraised and who all in their own way advocate for Sport Access Foundation. These everyday Australians have played their part in ensuring we can make Sport more accessible for young Australians living with a disability.

We pay tribute to three members of our community in today’s announcement, including the late Maria Cummins, Brendyn Appleby Strength and Conditioning (BASC) and the Founder of Exco Health, Jacob Holt. Details of their contributions are included below.

SAF provides annual grants to support 7-17 year-olds with disability to access and further develop their chosen sporting pathways. The aim is to improve the participation rate of young Australians with a disability to sport, and ensure there is no barrier to their participation alongside their able bodied sporting mates. 

Our grants cover four categories of identified needs for children and teenagers with a disability to play sport. They include:

  1. Pathway to Paralympics Grant, our marquee grant, sponsored by Compeat Performance - Total: $3,000 | $1,500 x 2 grants
  2. BlueScope Sporting Club Grant, helping our clubs become more inclusive - Total: $8,000 | $2,000 x 4 grants
  3. Sport Access Foundation No Barriers Grant, removing barriers for our young Australians aged 7-12 years to participate in their sports - Total $5,000 | $500 x 10 grants
  4. Sport Access Foundation Kick Start Grant, developing the aspirations of our young Australians to further their sporting participation and representative goals - Total: $4,000 | $1,000 x 4 grants

Katie Kelly OAM PLY founded Sport Access Foundation in 2017 after winning the first-ever Paratriathlon Gold Medal for Australia at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Through her experience of being hearing and sight-impaired, Katie saw the need to provide assistance to young Australians living with a disability keen to participate in sport. 

"More than ever we need access to sport and to live a healthy lifestyle. Sport has many benefits and for our young Australians living with a disability we must ensure there is no barrier for them to participate and engage in sport on the same playing field as their mates and sporting friends."
"We are here for every young Australian aged 7-17 years, living with a disability. Whatever your sport, and whatever your disability we want to help you stay active and be able to enjoy the sports you love.” 

As well as improving overall inclusion in sport, Ms Kelly said Sport Access Foundation grants are increasingly helping Australian para-sport champions on their road to success.

"Every year we continue to watch our recipients develop into regular participants of their sport. Whatever their goal is, we are proud to witness them achieve in their own way.”

With Paris 2024 Paralympics now on our doorstep, we are so excited to know that up to six of our recipients are in the mix for qualification. They include:

  • Col Pearse - 2017 Honour Roll, Swimming
  • Kiera Stephens - 2019 Honour Roll, Swimming
  • Jamieson Leeson - 2019 Honour Roll, Boccia
  • Jack Howell - 2021 Honour Roll, Triathlon
  • Cameron Jones - 2022 Honour Roll, Kayak
"We know that achieving para sport success is a long journey. This year's grants may well help propel the next generation of Aussie para-athletes to take on the world's best at events like the Brisbane 2032 Paralympics."
"Every dollar we raise our community donations goes directly to the grant recipients to help with the cost of their sport, including modified equipment, carer costs, transport and fees. The more financial support we get, the more young Australians we can help”.
"I particularly want to thank the teams at BlueScope and Tribal (DDB Group) for their continuing support of Sport Access Foundation.“

Compeat Performance Pathway to Paralympic Grant 

Compeat Performance Pathway to Paralympic Grant 

2 x grants of $1,500 each + 12 months Compeat Performance Support

The Compeat Performance Pathway to Paralympics grant is for aspiring Paralympians. This grant will help support two potential Paralympians with Paralympic-level performance support and assist in the additional costs incurred.

The grants cover the cost of new and upgraded equipment, international competition, additional coaching support and travel (particularly where travel with equipment or a carer/guide is required) and integrated performance support from Compeat Performance to ensure they are achieving their development potential. Applicants need to provide a written endorsement from their State or National federation.

"This is our third year of grant support for the Pathway to Paralympic grant. We’ve had the wonderful opportunity now to contribute to the growth of several young Sport Access Foundation recipients, who are developing athletes and progressing to full time high performance athletes. These athletes have included Layla Sharp (Athletics track), Jack Howell (Triathlon), Cameron Jones (Kayak) and Abbie Peet (Athletics track). We work closely with our athletes to ensure they have access to the relevant nutrition and well-being coaching, tools and resources to realise their development and paralympic potential. We look forward to working again with the athlete.” - Alicia Edge, Founder / Co-CEO & Director, Compeat Performance

BlueScope Sporting Club Grant

BlueScope Sporting Club Grant

4 x grants of $2,000 each

BlueScope Sporting Club grants will be awarded to four registered sporting clubs affiliated with a National Sporting Organisation (as recognised by Sport Australia). The grant is for specific programs to include children with a disability and/or enable children with a disability to be members of their clubs.

The funding can be used for new and upgraded equipment such as marquees, lights, accessible club rooms and restrooms, accessible technology for club digital equipment, cost to implement programs specifically for children with a disability and/or to educate club officials/coaches/volunteers on working with children with a disability.

"BlueScope is delighted to continue our support of Sport Access Foundation. Sporting clubs are at the heart of our Australian communities. This grant is about improving inclusion and strengthening the participation of young people with a disability in their local sporting clubs." - Mark Vassella, Managing Director and CEO, BlueScope

Sport Access Foundation No Barriers Grant

Sport Access Foundation No Barriers Grant

8 x grants of $500 each

The No Barriers grants will help young Australians aged 7-12 with a disability overcome initial start-up costs to participate in sport. The funds are to be used towards new and upgraded equipment, club and competition fees, cost of travel and accommodation. 

"We know young people with a disability face additional barriers to sports participation compared with people without a disability. The No Barriers grant is to help overcome some initial obstacles and give everyone the chance to get on the field, try different sports, and lead an active, healthy life." - Morgan Lander, Director, Sport Access Foundation

Sport Access Foundation Kick Start Grant

Sport Access Foundation Kick Start Grant

4 x grants of $1,000 each

The Kick Start grants will help young Australians with a disability access financial support to re-join their supporting club and/or sporting competitions. The funds can help pay club registration fees, carer costs, extra coaching, team uniforms or travel to participate in the sport.

"Children with a disability sometimes need extra support to stay involved and participate in their chosen sport. The Kick Start grant is to help with some of those additional costs and support ongoing participation and engagement." - Grantley Creighton, Director, Sport Access Foundation

About our supporters and donors:

The late Maria Cummins

Maria’s daughter Kara reached out to us almost within a day of her mum’s passing. She told us of her mum, Maria Cummins, among many things in her life, she was also a Life Member of the St Finbars Glenbrook Netball Club. Maria was a dedicated member and served on the Club’s Executive from the late 1990's well into the late 2000's. During this time she also coached and managed her daughters, Laura and Kara's teams and served as a BMNA Bench Official at Metro. Maria's lasting, and ongoing, legacy to the Club, and the Association, was the All Abilities Sunbirds.

Maria's neighbour, Kim, was living with a disability and used to watch Maria and Kara leave for Netball each Saturday. Kim had played Netball as a child but there was no opportunity for her to play as an adult. Kim told Maria that she wished that she could play Netball again so Maria made it her mission to make this happen. Maria knocked on every door, of every service, with links to the Disability sector, to find players to form a team for Kim. She was so successful that she found enough players for a Junior All Abilities team (the Sunbirds) and a Senior All Abilities team (the Brolgas) and they competed in the 2010 season. As the Junior Players grew up, the 2 teams were merged and Maria coached the Sunbirds up until 2019. 

Sport Access Foundation would like to formally acknowledge and thank Maria cummins for her incredible advocacy and work in improving the participation of people with a disability.
Thank you to all the community who celebrated Maria’s life for your wonderful donations in lieu of flowers towards Sport Access Foundation who help children with a disability have an opportunity to play and participate in sport. 

ExCo - Exercise Collaborative

Jacob Holt’s ExCo core purpose is to help people overcome life’s challenges through exercise and lifestyle interventions. No matter how complex these challenges might be, every individual can improve their health and performance – with the right care and support.

Their clients are at the centre of everything they do. Understanding their unique circumstances is the first step in our journey together towards ensuring ExCo can better treat, manage, and optimise their health condition.

Jacob and his clients pledged contributions of their fees towards Sport Access Foundation throughout 2022, resulting in over $6,000 raised. This is the equivalent of three Sporting Club grants!

CLICK HERE to learn more about ExCo.

Brendyn Appleby Strength and Conditioning (BASC)

Brendyn Appleby Strength and Conditioning (BASC) is a Perth-based coach and athlete training company whose purpose is to enhance physical, social and mental health of the community.  As an elite strength and conditioning coach for the Australian Men’s Hockey team for the past 9 years, Brendyn uses his experience and network to unite and deliver high quality education and training programs. With over 20 years of working with athletes, Brendyn understands the importance of physical activity for a healthy lifestyle.

Regular proceeds from BASC workshops and coaching services have been directed to the Sport Access Foundation and their contributions have resulted into the equivalent three $1,500 No Barriers Grants.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Brendyn Appleby Strength and Conditioning.

To apply for one of the grants available, please click the button below.


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