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Government funding for grassroots sports organisations in Australia

21 October 2018 openplay Leave a comment Operations

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.

Sport Australia

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.

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From Western Australia to New South Wales: Your state by state guide to grassroots sports funding

24 August 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System

Australia is on a mission to improve the nation’s participation in grassroots sports and recreational activities.

Grassroots sports funding in Oz is provided by the central government- in the form of Sport Australia. However, the actual structure of schemes and delivery of the vast majority of grants is made by individual state bodies.

If the idea of searching and applying for funding puts your head into a spin, take a look at our state by state guide for grassroots sports funding.


The requirements for each state body differ slightly but, in general, those who can apply are not-for-profit grassroots sports clubs, licenced sports clubs, sports clubs linked to schools or churches, and approved Active Kids providers that are not-for-profit.


Program objectives

The Victorian government wants to make sports more accessible to the community, particularly to women and people restricted by mobility.

VicHealth is a government-affiliated organisation hoping to get inactive Victorians taking part in community sport.

Project types
Victoria State’s sports funding focus shifts across the seasons and year. In the past, they have run programs for community sports infrastructure, sports clubs, country football and netball, emergency sporting and recreational equipment and shooting sports facilities. Many of the more recent programs aim to “Change our Game”, by providing opportunities for women and girls to progress at sports.

VicHealth has two primary focuses. The first aims to increase the number of women and girls in sports. The second assists clubs in providing new social or modified sports programs that target less active Victorians.

What is on offer?
Event assistance grants are given up to the value of $20,000. Activity programs are awarded a maximum of $100,000 and rewards of up to $250,000 are available for infrastructure projects. Community Sports organisations can also apply for low-interest rate loans for between $500,000 and $10 million.

Vic Health offers financial aid of up to $3,000- open to any Victorian club- or $10,000 for those that have over 200 members.

How to apply
Only local councils can submit applications directly to Sport and Recreation Victoria. Clubs and community organisations should discuss their project proposal with their local council who will provide further guidance.

For more info, visit the official website.

Apply for VicHealth support via their website.

New South Wales

Program objectives
NSW aims to increase regular and ongoing participation opportunities in sport and recreation. The body hopes to address barriers to participation and assist sports clubs in providing a quality service to their members.

Project types
The scheme supports sports development, community sports events, sports access and facility development.

What is on offer?
The minimum amount available for all project types is $250. For sports development, the maximum amount awarded is $2,000. Sports access schemes and community sports events can receive up to $5,000. For organisations looking to develop their facilities, they may receive up to $20,000.

How to apply
Visit the official website.

Western Australia

Project types
WA has a comprehensive grassroots funding model. It supports facilities, individuals and clubs that hope to engage Western Australians.

Their target participation program funding scheme provides funds for organisations to promote participation and active engagement. The focus of this scheme changes each year, to target low participation groups.

What is on offer?
For facility upgrades, grants can be anything between $2,500 to $2,000,000. The amount awarded will not exceed one-third of the total estimated cost of the project.

Funding is also available for regional local governments and not-for-profit sport, recreation or community organisations.

How to apply
For more information, and to apply for funding, visit the official website.

To apply for Every Club funding, email: everyclub@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Northern Territory

What is on offer?

The Grass Roots Development Program awards clubs and organisations up to $5,000, to aid participation in sports and active recreational activities.

For facility improvements and equipment replacement, NT state supply grants of up to $100,000. Your organisation must contribute 20% of the estimated cost of your project.

How to apply
The Grass Roots program is open all year round, with applications assessed each month.

Facility and equipment scheme application windows run from July to the end of September.

You can make an application through Grants Tracker.

For more information, visit the official website.

South Australia

Program objectives

SA improves facilities, especially those that enable female participation. The body hopes to improve grow sports and activities in the region, improve services and address barriers to inclusion.

What is on offer?

The Active Club Program has two funding rounds each year, providing grants of up to $25,000 for facility upgrades. Program and equipment awards of up to $5,000 are also on offer.

Other community-focused programs run at intervals throughout the year.

How to apply

All SA sports and recreations grants are managed through Smarty Grants.

For more info, and to see the government’s other funding programs, visit the official website.


Program objectives

The Queensland government supports sports clubs and activity providers in providing quality sessions for as many members of the community as possible.

What is on offer?

The Footy Facilities Fund provides grants to improve the quality, access and condition of community <b>rugby league facilities</b> across Queensland. The scheme provides up to 50% of the project cost, while the applicant is responsible for the other half.

Get Going Clubs funds local and regional sport and active recreation organisations to improve the delivery of Queensland activities.

Get Playing Plus is designed specifically to support grassroots level sport and recreational activities. Funding of between $200,000 to $1,500,000 is available for new projects or major upgrades to existing places or spaces for sport and recreation.

How to apply

Applications are made through the Enquire application portal.

For more details, visit the official website.


Program objectives

The Tasmanian government provides funding to increase opportunities for Tasmanian citizens to participate in sports and recreational activities. This is part of their ongoing development of the state’s sporting sector.

What is on offer?

The Minor Grants Program offers funds of $500 to $10,000, for clubs, not-for-profits and local governments to provide sport and activities. Financial assistance covers equipment purchases and the development of facilities and playing surfaces.

The Major Grants Program is a bigger version of the minor program- supporting the same needs but on a larger scale. Grants of between $15,000 and $80,000 are supplied in the category.

Levelling the Playing Field Grant Program is aimed at female participation. The Tasmanian Government is investing $10 million over two years to upgrade sports facilities for women and girls. Grants of between $15,000 and $1 million will match dollar-for-dollar what is supplied by the facility owners.

How to apply

Each scheme opens for applications once per annum. The closing dates are staggered throughout the year. Applications are made via the official website.

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