Council moves to open access to sports and cultural activities

Getting involved in sporting and cultural activities could become easier for low-income and disadvantaged Redlanders thanks to a Redland City Council decision today.

Councillors agreed to investigate how struggling residents can be assisted to get out and active in the community.

At this stage no commitment has been made with Councillors to discuss the matter at Council’s next Community Grants workshop in September before considering options.

follows last month’s decision to investigate a financial assistance program to help battling families get their children into sports.

Division 2 Councillor Craig Ogilvie, who called for the investigation, said disadvantage should not be a barrier to the benefits of playing sport or being involved with arts or other community activities.

“The unfortunate reality is that when you are battling financially, pulling on the footy boots or joining a cultural group can be pushed out of reach by fees and the cost of essential gear or equipment,’’ Cr Ogilvie said.

“As a caring community which supports inclusivity, we need to ensure all residents can be part of a team or group if they choose and not feel that it is simply unaffordable.

“The benefits in terms of mental and physical health for both adults and youngsters will be substantial.”

At its last meeting, Council agreed to look into a program where Council could provide up to $50,000 funding each year and work with sporting organisations, schools and local business sponsors to set up an ongoing fund.

Cr Ogilvie said extending the program to all disadvantaged Redlanders meant the program’s benefits could be maximised.

“We can now look at eligibility criteria, such as holders of Centrelink Health Care Cards or Pensioner Concession Cards, and then come back to Council with a workable program. We want to make sure that mum and dad as well as the kids can join in the fun,” he said.