Sport Australia has been criticised for many years for investing large sums in elite level athletics while leaving grassroots activities to decay into nothingness.
The myth peddled by many governments throughout the world is that Olympic gold medals inspire sporting uptake and, in turn, future elite success. But even Olympians must start somewhere. Participation starts from the ground up; and national health, not medals, should be the primary goal.
The governments sporting department has finally launched a grassroots funding model, in Sport 2030. On the grassroots side, the National Sport Plan aims to make Australia a more active nation, safeguard the integrity of sport and strengthen Australia’s sports industry.
It is important to note that the bulk of Sport Australia’s grassroots budget is divvied up between states. Each state body allocates funding to grassroots organisations within their catchment area. Check out our guide to individual state funding bodies.
Australian Government’s leading sports and physical activity agency, Sport Australia small to medium scale projects of up to $500,000 for community sport.
Their main grants improve local, community sports infrastructure with the aim of increasing participation in sport and physical activity.
Supported projects include:
- Playing surface upgrades
- Building expansion/ upgrades, particularly female changing rooms.
- External entry/ exit accessible amenities.
- Sports lighting, such as safety lighting or solar panels.
- Improvement to spectator areas.
- Amenity uplift
Who is eligible?
- A sporting organisation, eg. community sports club, registered sports association.
- A local government entity.
- A remote education institution
- A not-for-profit
For more information and to apply, visit Smarty Grants.
The government’s grant programmes vary from year to year. In the past, they have supported organisations that promote female participation, sports clubs looking to expand, and sports and recreational facilities that have been damaged by natural disasters.
Australian Sports Foundation
Giving for Grassroots (G4G) is generously funded by passionate sports fans in Australia. The grants aim to foster social inclusion, healthier lifestyles and develop teamwork and leadership skills.
Applications open bi-annually, although closing dates vary from year to year. Each round of funding has a different focus. Previous examples include:
- Sport4Everyone- For clubs and team increasing sports participation.
- Balls4All- $1 million of sporting equipment donated to clubs, schools and organisations.
- Active Adults- For organisations increasing participation for people aged 18 plus.
- Junior Participation- $155,000 donated to 24 clubs providing sports to youths aged 16 and under.
- Innovation- Grants to organisations increasing youth participation in sports through innovative means.
The best way to stay in the loop about the next round of funding is to sign up to G4G’s mailing list.