Kelly, who has a deaf-blind condition known as Usher’s Syndrome, won gold in the para-triathlon at the 2016 Rio games and is working towards a spot on the 2020 Tokyo squad. She established the Sport Access Foundation in 2017 to help Australia’s promising younger athletes to get into sport.
“Access to the right facilities and equipment is a game-changer. This year we have over $22,000 in grants that will help to recognise the outstanding achievements of young athletes with a disability who represent their sport at the highest level.”
10x individual grants of $250 each - total investment $2,500
Harvey Norman have teamed up with Sport Access Foundation to provide the Harvey Heroes sporting grants. This grant is set up to encourage as many young children living with a disability to join a local sporting Club. The funds can be used to help pay for Club registration fees, carer cost, extra coaching, team uniforms or travel to participate in the sport.
Katie Page, Harvey Norman’s CEO said;
“Harvey Norman is proud to be an official partner of the 2019 Sport Access Foundation grant program. We have supported Katie Kelly OAM (SAF Founder) in her Paralympic journey and we share with her, her vision to ensure every young Australian living with a disability has the opportunity to be a member of a sporting Club.”
Katie Kelly commented;
“Harvey Norman have always batted for the underdog, they did it in their support for me to help me achieve the incredible gold medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, and they were the first major Australian corporate to support women in sport, and have done for decades. Now they’re helping young Aussies with a disability. Harvey Norman recognises we need to get our young children moving and one of the most effective ways to engage our children in physical activity is through sport. We want to ensure there is no barrier for children with a disability to join a sporting Club. This grant is also an opportunity to learn more about what the barriers are for young children with a disability to join a Club, and we are keen to hear from parents and carers on the challenges they face with joining their children with a disability to a local club.”
4x individual grants of $2,000 and 2x club grants of $2,000 - total investment $12,000
In 2017 Sport Access Foundation Founder, Katie Kelly OAM was awarded the Sir Roden Cutler Award by The Primary Club of Australia. This award acknowledges outstanding sporting achievement by an athlete with a disability. Katie donated the $20,000 received from The Primary Club of Australia to Sport Access Foundation. These funds are now being dedicated to fund The Sport Access Foundation Equipment Grants for individuals and clubs.
The grants are for young Australians with a disability needing assistance to purchase equipment for their desired sport. The grants are for young athletes aged 12-17 years who have developed in their sport and have gained selection as a minimum at a regional or state level. The applicants must be a member of a sporting club and need new or modified equipment to help them achieve their goals to achieve higher representation levels in their sport. The Sport Access Foundation equipment grant will assist developing athletes to go the next level in their sport by providing support to upgrade their equipment or to access modified equipment.
2x grants of $2000 - total investment $4000
In 2017 and 2018 years, over half of the applicants were of athletes aspiring to represent Australia at the Paralympics. SAF Pathway to Paralympics #SAFP2P will help two future Paralympians with the additional cost incurred when competing at the highest level. The grants cover costs relating to new and upgraded equipment, to compete in an international competition in their sport, to access additional coaching support and to assist with travel costs (particularly where additional cost to travel with equipment or a carer/guide is required).
2x grants of $2000 - total investment $4000
PICA Group have teamed up with SAF to provide financial support for sporting clubs across the country. Sporting Clubs are an integral part of providing young Australians living with a disability to access sport. This grant is to assist sporting clubs who provide programs and support for young Aussies with a disability to participate as a member of their club.
“We’re incredibly proud of the work of Sport Access Foundation and their Founder Katie Kelly to assist the next generation of Paralympians. The PICA Group proudly support an inclusive and diverse workplace, so it makes sense that we promote this more broadly in the community via activities such as SAF. We encourage all sporting clubs to provide an inclusive and welcoming club to ensure we have as many young Australians living with a disability to be a part of a sporting club."
The grants are for a registered sporting Club affiliated with a National Sporting Organisation (as recognised by Sport Australia). The grant must be used by a Club that demonstrates running/implementing specific programs to include children with a disability, and/or that already has children with a disability as members of their club. The funding can be used for new and upgraded equipment such as marquees, lights, accessible club room and restrooms, accessible technology for club digital, cost to implement programs specifically for children with a disability and / or education of club officials/coaches/volunteers on working with children with a disability.