Sports Minister Steve Dickson today announced the Newman Government would provide a $1.3 million funding boost over the next three years for Indigenous sport in Far North Queensland.
Mr Dickson said the funding, part of the Sport and Recreation Indigenous Grants program, would assist the continued development of hockey, Australian Rules and Rugby League in the Torres Strait, Cape York and Gulf Savannah regions.
“Sport and recreation is important to all communities across Queensland, but it is especially critical in Indigenous communities to provide young people with options for active, healthy lifestyles,” Mr Dickson said.
“This $1.3 million program is part of the Newman Government’s commitment to supporting ongoing participation in sport within Indigenous communities and to build community capacity long into the future.
“The LNP is enabling Indigenous communities to take up these key sports and to keep them running.”
As well as growing participation rates, the funding will be used to provide training for coaches, officials and other volunteers throughout approximately 35 individual Indigenous communities in the Torres Strait, Cape York and Gulf Savannah area, covering more than 300,000 square kilometres.
Mr Dickson said over the past three years more than 17,500 children in 32 FNQ Indigenous communities took part in AFL, through 580 school and community-based skill development clinics, as well as the highly regarded Auskick program for 5-12 year olds.
“Additionally, the now well-established AFL Cape York House provides opportunity for up to 48 Indigenous secondary-aged boys from remote communities to progress their studies and sporting ambitions whilst gaining experience of living in the Cairns community,” Mr Dickson said.
AFL Queensland CEO Michael Conlan said the $450,000 over three years will go a long way to supporting the educational, employment and training opportunities provided by AFL Cape York House.
“AFL Cape York House is making an enormous difference for young people from the remote Indigenous communities of Cape York Peninsula, Torres Strait and the Gulf regions and we are very pleased to continue our relationship with the Queensland Government for another three years support for the program,” Mr Conlan said.
Mr Dickson said the Newman Government’s 2013-14 Budget allocated $126 million towards recreation and sport.
“The LNP is unashamedly focused on grassroots sporting initiatives, assisting children to join sporting clubs, and providing community clubs with grants for equipment, training and other activities to improve membership, as well as funding for facility development to improve club facilities,” he said.