VicHealth Active Club Grants doing wonders for netball

VicHealth are dedicated to the health and wellbeing of Victorians and are continually looking to improve the health of those who are less active. The Active Club Grants from VicHealth go a long way for local netball clubs.

The grants aim to provide more opportunities to participate in sport, with a particular focus on people who would otherwise be limited in accessing these opportunities.

The funding provides social, flexible and accessible sport programs and greater opportunities for people from disadvantaged communities to take part in sport.

Building on the momentum generated by the successful ‘This Girl Can’ – Victoria campaign, 61 clubs will receive additional funding to help promote the campaign to their local communities, which will highlight the importance of providing a welcoming environment for women and girls to get active.

This year VicHealth announced that almost $750,000 of funding will be made available for 222 community sport clubs throughout Victoria.

Doncaster District Netball Association (DDNA) and Daylesford Football Netball Club (DFNC) are two of many netball communities that have received funding through VicHealth’s Active Club Grants.

Diana Morabito from DDNA said she came across the funding opportunity through an email that was sent to her by a member of the associations committee.

Morabito applied for the funding to help develop and expand the All Abilities (AA) program within DDNA, which is currently self-funded and managed through sponsorships and grants that the association has applied for previously.

“Initially we began the program in 2015 with the aim of providing a program for the disabled community who can play netball alongside mainstream netball,” Morabito said.

DDNA is home to eight outdoor netball courts, of which one is used every Saturday morning for the AA participants.

“We didn’t want to segregate the AA from the standard netball group, we wanted our members to mix in with the rest of the community.”

Morabito explained that the direct result of the VicHealth funding goes towards registration fees and uniforms for members within the AA program.

“Our members don’t pay for anything, we don’t want to burden them with that finical stress, we provide them with uniform and give them a ball to take home and practice shooting and throwing accuracy.”

The process around applying for the grant is fairly simple, Morabito explained, “You fill in the online application – explaining what the program is and what you are about, where the money is going, and whether there an indication of the growth aspect of the program and what you hope to achieve.”

DFNC is another Victorian netball club that has benefited from VicHealth’s Active Club Grants, where the funding will assist in strengthening female participation and pathways throughout the club.

Board Member, Belinda Buck, said “As a result of our VicHealth funding, we are working with Sports Central and Netball Victoria to implement a suite of modified sporting programs to strengthen female participation and pathways at our club.”

Competing in the Highland Football Netball League, DFNC only currently offer its youngest participants a 13/U A and B side.

“Children nine years of age are playing competitive netball against children much older without foundation skills and development,” Buck explained.

“This funding will allow us to commence NetSetGO which will provide a new entry program to allow children in Daylesford and surrounding communities aged 5-10, to learn basic netball skills in a social non-competitive environment that is fun whilst keeping them active.”

The funding will provide young participants within DDNA, with an introduction and pathway to netball.

Additionally, Buck said the funding would go towards Netball Victoria’s program ‘Rock Up Netball,’ a social, relaxed and flexible way for females to participate in netball.

The program suits women and girls not wanting to, or are unable to participate in competitive netball, or people who have not played netball or are wanting a social experience in a friendly environment.

“Daylesford Football Netball Club has had difficulty in participation levels among the senior women’s netball team over the past few years, and we feel Rock Up will help this,” Buck said.

DDNA, and Board Member Belinda Buck, recognise that to continue to grow female participation, modified and social programs need to be offered to community members of all ages.

“We want to increase reach and provide alternative participation offerings to competitive sports. This will contribute to a long-term increase in female participation among junior and senior players providing a natural pathway for women and girls to play netball.”

This years applications for the Active Club Grants are now closed, however head to VicHealth for more information on how to apply for next year.