Sub­sidy boost for ath­letes

Pilbara News - - Sport - Ali­cia Per­era

Sev­eral promis­ing young Pil­bara ath­letes have been given a help­ing hand to­wards cov­er­ing their train­ing and com­pe­ti­tion costs through a State Govern­ment ath­lete sub­sidy pro­gram.

In all, 26 un­der-18 Pil­bara ath­letes from Kar­ratha, Wick­ham, Hed­land and New­man re­ceived fund­ing in the lat­est round of the Ath­lete Grant Sub­sidy Scheme, which off­sets travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion costs for el­i­gi­ble State and na­tional com­pet­i­tive events.

BMX, bowls, cricket, soc­cer, judo, mo­tor­cy­cling, moun­tain biking, rugby league and softball were among the sports rep­re­sented by the se­lected ath­letes, with some also part of the Pil­bara Sports Academy set up late last year for de­vel­op­ing tal­ent among lo­cal young ath­letes.

One of the Pil­bara sub­sidy re­cip­i­ents and Pil­bara Sports Academy mem­bers was Kar­ratha BMX rider Ry­ley Hinch­cliffe, who reg­u­larly com­petes in State and na­tional com­pe­ti­tions in­clud­ing, most re­cently, the 2017 BMX Na­tional Se­ries.

His mother, Anissa Hinch­liffe, said the sub­sidy would go a long way to­wards cov­er­ing the steep flight and ac­com­mo­da­tion costs in­volved in fre­quently trav­el­ling to com­pe­ti­tions on the other side of the coun­try.

“Most of the se­ries are all based over east, so there’s a lot of travel in­volved, es­pe­cially from Kar­ratha,” she said. “The main ex­penses are flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion, hire car and then as­so­ci­ated travel ex­penses.”

Depart­ment of Sport and Re­cre­ation Pil­bara re­gional man­ager Bren­dan Cul­li­nan said he be­lieved a higher num­ber of Pil­bara ath­letes had been sub­sidised un­der this round of the scheme than ever be­fore.

“It goes to show there is a depth of tal­ent in the re­gion and that’s why it’s good,” he said. “One of the con­cerns you hear is the high cost of travel and that’s the good thing, the fact that it does pro­vide that sup­port and al­low these ath­letes to fol­low their dreams and the devel­op­ment path­way in their sport.”

Across re­gional WA, more than 250 ath­letes were awarded sub­si­dies in the most re­cent round.

Depart­ment of Sport and Re­cre­ation di­rec­tor gen­eral Ron Alexan­der said the lat­est round of grants would strengthen sports ex­cel­lence and par­tic­i­pa­tion in re­gional WA com­mu­ni­ties.

“Ath­letes liv­ing in re­gional Western Aus­tralia should also have the op­por­tu­nity to train and com­pete away from home,” he said.

“This sub­sidy goes some way to­wards help­ing with travel costs.”

“(It) en­ables young ath­letes to travel to events, com­pe­ti­tions and train­ing camps to help them progress along their sports path­way.”

The Ath­lete Travel Sub­sidy Scheme be­gan in 2013 and is ad­min­is­tered by the Depart­ment of Sport and Re­cre­ation.

Pic­ture: Ben Leahy

Kar­ratha moun­tain biker Toby Muller.

Pic­ture: Bray­den Lee

Zoe Brit­cliffe was awarded grants un­der the Ath­lete Travel Sub­sidy Scheme for na­tional cricket and softball com­pe­ti­tions.

Pic­ture: Don Cor­bitt

Kar­ratha teenager Kaleb Wald­ing won the sin­gles and pairs divi­sions of the Bowls WA State Un­der 18 Cham­pi­onships ear­lier this year.

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