How important is sport to you?

As the state election draws nearer, candidates running for office are announcing more and more policy items that they believe will resonate with local community members. One small but not insignificant part of our lives here in Geraldton is our love for sport. It is remarkable the massive range of sports available to participate in here in Geraldton, one of the most isolated regional cities of its size in the country. 

From water polo to shooting, footy, soccer, basketball, a thriving bike riding community, and everything in between; if you want to get active in Geraldton there is something to suit your fancy. I even attended a game of rugby union last weekend, a sport normally found thriving in the states of Queensland and New South Wales.

Nationals candidate Shane Van Styn has released a statement declaring the National party would provide funding to help support talented athletes, and also provide small grants to assist regional sporting clubs obtain funding for equipment.

So how important is sport in your daily life? Do you find Geraldton a great place to get involved in your preferred sport?

Full press release from The Nationals below.

Nationals WA candidate for Geraldton, Shane Van Styn today said The Nationals’ would provide funding to support talented athletes and help sporting clubs in regional WA access equipment. 

Van Styn said the Junior Representative Travel Assistance Program and the Community Sports Equipment Grants recognised the importance of sports in regional communities and would encourage participation.

He said if The Nationals WA won the balance of power at the State election each program would receive $1 million over four years from Royalties for Regions.

“Sporting clubs are an essential part of life in regional WA, they bring together people from all parts of the community and provide significant health and social benefits,” Van Styn said.

“We have been working to ensure all kids can enjoy the benefits of being part of a sporting club through Programs such as Kidsport, which have resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of children participating in sport

“This, combined with a population growth in regional WA, has applied pressure to resources in sporting clubs.”

Van Styn said The Nationals’ Community Sports Equipment Grants program would ease the pressure on sporting clubs with access to a one-off $500 grant for shared equipment.

 “Historically our sporting clubs have trained the likes of Harry Taylor, Anthony Little, Chris Mainwaring and Ben Pepper. For some clubs equipment costs are prohibitive, which means some of our most capable young people are excluded from these opportunities.”

Talented athletes in regional areas, who are required to travel for regional, state or national representation, also face a range of expenses. 

The Nationals WA believe these athletes should not be disadvantaged and will make grants of up to $1000 available through the Travel Assistance Program. Junior sports star of the year Zoe Filgate was a recent recipient of funding from the Representative Travel program.

Van Styn said this was just another way that Royalties for Regions was supporting regional communities. 

“The Nationals WA are the only party that can be trusted to deliver for regional communities – become a defender of Royalties for Regions and support The Nationals on 9 March.”