West Coast communities share in sports grants

The Outback Communities Authority (OCA) has provided funding for eight communities through the OCA Small Sports Grants program, including at Penong and Fowlers Bay.

The grants assist with projects and initiatives that encourage communities to participate in local sport and recreational activities.

The Penong Progress Association has received $500 which has gone towards tennis coaching and tennis balls for junior and beginner tennis players.

The Fowlers Bay Progress Association has also received $500, which will be used for the purchase of pool cues, balls and equipment to commence a pool competition at Fowlers Bay.

Tricia Shipard from Western United Tennis Club said they were thankful for the grant, which was being utilised for coaching clinics this week.

“Shane Kelsh from Streaky Bay is coaching 30 children from ages four to 16 at the Penong courts and this grant subsidised the lessons,” she said.

“We were able to purchase $100 worth of balls, and without the OCA support it would have meant some children would miss out.”

Ms Shipard said they were also able to use money from fundraising to make the sessions affordable, while the Penong Hotel also sponsored the clinic by accommodating Mr Kelsh for the night.

Fowlers Bay Progress Association chairperson Robyn Wallace said the grant would help to get a local pool competition started.

“The association is very thankful to the Outback Communities Authority for supplying the funds,” she said.

“We have a town hall here which we have been renovating over the past few years and in there is a great pool table, and we hope to start-up a competition.

“We needed supplies like cues and balls, so this grant helps a lot.”

She said they aimed to get going next year.

“We want to start informally in the next month or so, but next year we aim to start an organised competition, and perhaps play against other Eyre Peninsula clubs.”

OCA chairperson Cecilia Woolford said the grants were very popular and provided the opportunity for sporting and recreational groups in outback communities to increase their capacity to offer more activities.

“It is great to see so many sporting and recreational activities occurring in the outback, in particular those activities for young people,” she said.

“Active communities are healthy communities and the Outback Communities Authority is very pleased to support these activities.”

A total of $3812 was approved for funding for the eight communities, with another round planned for February 2019.