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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1234 ..

Sport—community participation

MS CODY: My question is to the minister for sport and rec. What role do local families play in community sport in Canberra and how does the ACT government support their work with local sporting clubs?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Cody for her question. As we know, playing sport is a part of life for many people in our community. I have previously shared with the Assembly some recent statistics telling us that Canberrans’ sport participation rate of at least once per week is 85 per cent, which is the highest in the nation. As with many areas of our community, there are plenty of heroes around behind the scenes who make our sporting clubs thrive; local communities volunteering their time to give others the chance to do what they love.

Most volunteers are family members of participants, and they do a huge amount of work—committee members, officials, coaches, managers, team transporters and pitch-side physios—all local volunteers and families who make community sport happen. Indeed, many elite athletes will tell us that their sporting success can be attributed to the support of their family and the essential role their parents played in contributing to the sporting environment to nurture their development.

The ACT government understands and values the role these volunteers play and our work around infrastructure, maintenance and support of individual sports all works hand in hand with the contributions of these community champions. In particular, ACT sportsgrounds are fully maintained and operated by government at an 86 per cent subsidy rate to assist affordability of sporting participation for families. Our sport and recreation grant program provides over $2.3 million in direct support to sporting organisations to assist operational delivery, program development, large equipment purchases and technological improvements to lessen the load on volunteers. The inaugural CBR sport awards last year included an outstanding contribution to sport award, providing an avenue for due recognition of those supporting local clubs in various capacities. This will be an annual award going forward.

MS CODY: Minister, what is the risk to community participation in sport and active recreation if families are forced to move out of Canberra?

MS BERRY: There are many risks and problems created when a federal government goes about forcing families out of our city. Community sport is just one of the areas affected. As I have said, local Canberra families support almost every part of the sports club community and the development of young athletes, everything from coaching, sitting on boards, preparing food and marshalling big events to running with a whistle up and down a sideline. From grassroots participation to high performance sport, volunteers make an enormous contribution.

One final key area is in fundraising. I am lucky as sports minister to see many great examples of community sports clubs fundraising for new equipment, to subsidise player fees or perhaps to send promising juniors away to big tournaments. So the risks

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