Building a more active Latrobe Valley

The Nationals Victorian Senator and Federal Minister for Sport, Bridget McKenzie, has visited Churchill United Soccer Club and discussed the needs of local sporting clubs with The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath, and Sheridan Bond, The Nationals candidate for Morwell.

Minister McKenzie visited the Club at the request of Ms Bond, who is campaigning for better grassroots sporting facilities.

Together the group discussed the new Commonwealth Community Infrastructure Grant program announced in the 2018/2019 Federal Budget and examined the future development plans of the Churchill United Soccer Club.

The Community Infrastructure Grant program is being established to fund small to medium scale projects and improve existing sporting facilities at the grassroots level.  The program will ensure more Australians have access to quality sporting facilities and will encourage greater community participation in sport and physical activity.

Ms Bond said, “Over the last few months I have been spending time with a number of grassroots sporting clubs and identifying regional priorities.  Churchill United is one of the sporting clubs I have visited.  They are a fantastic community-based club whose facilities are in need of an upgrade.  I felt it was important that the Federal Minister for Sport saw first-hand one of the Latrobe Valley facilities that could benefit from support.

“Churchill United Soccer Club’s facilities are outdated and inadequate, they lack privacy for female athletes and officials and they are cramped and falling apart.  I am here to advocate for community and local sporting clubs which would also benefit from any upcoming grant programs,” said Ms Bond.

Ms Bath said it was wonderful to have Minister McKenzie touring the Latrobe Valley and meeting with grassroots sporting organisations.

“As a former Gippsland local and the Federal Minister for Sport, Minister McKenzie is well placed to understand the difference improvements to community infrastructure can make in a regional area such as the Latrobe Valley.

“Our sporting organisations are an integral part of our local towns and are so often the heart and soul of the community.  They play an incredibly important role in getting us more active and in the development of our overall health and happiness and they also help create social and economic benefits,” said Ms Bath.

“Ensuring our community has access to appropriate sporting facilities is essential.  I would like to thank Minister McKenzie for taking the time to meet with the Churchill United Soccer Club today concluded Ms Bond.

The Federal Government’s Community Infrastructure Grants will open later in 2018.