Lilee Law jumps hurdles at the Bundaberg Little Athletics oval. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Lilee Law jumps hurdles at the Bundaberg Little Athletics oval. Picture: Rhylea Millar

Groups receive grants to keep Bundy kids happy, active

TWO local programs that encourage children to keep active and socialise will receive a share of funding worth $521,000.

Bundaberg and Bargara Little Athletics will receive a total of almost $4000 as part of the Coles Little Athletics community fund.

President of Bundaberg Little Athletics Ben Porter said after a challenging year with COVID-19, the exciting grant would assist athletes and volunteers to get back on track.

“With this grant we’ll be able to upgrade our 20-year-old hurdles so that our athletes can have a safer and more enjoyable experience in this popular event,” Mr Porter said.

And it has come at no better time after the Australian Sports Foundation estimated more than 16,000 local sports clubs were at risk of closing, after COVID-19 caused a reduction in revenue.

Bundaberg Little Athletics club captains Rachelle Blair and Maddison Law. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Bundaberg Little Athletics club captains Rachelle Blair and Maddison Law. Picture: Rhylea Millar

Grants co-ordinator for Bargara Little Athletics Steph McKenzie said the funding would be used to purchase much-needed equipment including high jump bars, shot puts, measuring wheels and trolleys.

“Being able to update our equipment to more modern items will not only enhance the athletes’ and volunteers’ motivation to participate,” Ms McKenzie said.

“But (it will) also enable our coaches to better educate and train athletes.”

The two community groups were among 158 grassroots sports club in the country to receive a grant, with the national total reaching $521,000 in the latest round.

It marks the single largest round of grants distributed to Little Athletics centres since the Coles grant was first established.

The Coles Little Athletics community fund is designed to allow little sporting legends to follow in the footsteps of Coles ambassadors Sally Pearson and Brandon Starc.

Lilee Law jumps hurdles at the Bundaberg Little Athletics oval. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Lilee Law jumps hurdles at the Bundaberg Little Athletics oval. Picture: Rhylea Millar

Coles state general manager Jerry Farrell said the organisation was thrilled to assist community groups, especially after the last six months had created challenges for everyone involved at the local sporting clubs.

“We hope these grants will give athletes, families and volunteers a morale boost ahead of the new season,” Mr Farrell said.

“Coles is passionate about helping kids lead healthier, happier lives (and) that’s why we’re delighted to have raised more than $314,000 in Queensland and $1.68 million nationally for local sports clubs through the Coles Little Athletics community fund in just two years.”

Funds are raised through every purchase of the specially marked Coles store chiller bags, which are designed by Aussie kids, with 10 per cent from each bag being donated directly to the community fund.

To date, the supermarket has raised more than $1.68 million for 376 Little Athletics centres across Australia since November 2018.