Good sports help disadvantaged youngsters

Disadvantaged youngsters are getting a chance to join organised sports thanks to a pilot project at Capalaba.

The project, which will provide grants to help keen eight to 12-year-olds, has already been boosted by a $1200 donation from Capalaba Sports Club.

A special information session will be held at 6pm on Monday 4 August at Capalaba State College where residents, businesses and sports clubs can find out more about what they can do to be involved.

A community project led by Division 9 councillor Paul Gleeson (Capalaba), it also will look at setting up a foundation to continue raising funds to cover the costs of sports gear and fees for youngsters whose families are battling.

Through the project, youngsters can apply for $100 grants through their preferred sporting club.  It will be a top up to State Government assistance of $150 through its Get in the Game program.

“I really hope that the community gets on board and this can become City-wide,’’ Cr Gleeson said. “Six schools and a range of Capalaba sports groups are already keen to be involved in the pilot project.

“We are going to try to raise $10,000 in four weeks to sponsor 100 youngsters and see how it goes from there but I am encouraged by the response so far and thank Capalaba Sports Club for getting involved from the outset.

“This is about trying to build an environment where a child can join a club where they feel comfortable and safe, where they are encouraged to be healthy and feel part of the community.’’

Cr Gleeson said funding for the community project would come from such events as school free-dress days and the generosity of clubs, businesses and individuals.

“Businesses, for example, could sponsor a child,’’ he said.

Under the program, applications for assistance will be made through the sporting clubs and money provided directly to the club to cover annual and game day fees, and necessary gear such as boots and uniforms.

“I believe it is important for kids to be involved in organised sport but the costs involved these days can be a barrier for some,’’ Cr Gleeson said. “The community spirit of the Redlands can make that happen – and, who knows, it may provide the opportunity for the next Harry Kewell, Darren Lockyer or Cathy Freeman.’’

For more information: Cr Paul Gleeson on 0488 714 030.