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Recognising our young sporting champions.



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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E David.Hawker.MP@aph.gov.au W www.davidhawker.com.au

Federal Member for Wannon

8 July 2009

EMBARGOED UNTIL TUESDAY 7 JULY 2009

RECOGNISING OUR YOUNG SPORTING CHAMPIONS

Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, today recognised six of the south-west’s young sporting champions, who have each been awarded grants to help them compete at a higher level in their chosen sport.

Lucas Rais-Colven of Terang and Warrnambool’s Matthew Gunther and Sam Byron each received $500 through the Federal Government’s Local Sporting Champions program to assist with travel and expenses to compete at national competitions.

Lucas will represent the Victorian Badminton Association at the Under 17 Bevan Carnival in Ballarat, Matthew will compete with his Victorian teammates in the National Schoolboys U15 Cricket Championships at Cobram Barooga, and Sam will represent country Victoria at the Australian Junior National Basketball Championships in Gawler, SA.

Mr Hawker also recognised Western Victoria’s Junior Women’s Golf team, comprising Briony Webb, Mali Sharp and Joanna Flaherty, who were awarded $3,000 under the team component of the program to compete in the Kay Mahlook Shield in Bendigo.

Mr Hawker congratulated all six youngsters on their sporting success and said the Local Sporting Champions program is available for individuals and teams throughout the region.

“We often find that cost is the biggest barrier for youth wanting to compete at major sporting competitions,” he said.

“The Local Sporting Champions program helps get young Australians, particularly from regional areas, to national and state sporting competitions. We want our youth to be active in sport, and distance or a lack of financial means should not be a barrier to participation.”

Mr Hawker said young sportsmen and women in Western Victoria can now apply for their share of the $1.6 million in Australian Government grants to help them to participate in sporting competitions.

“Individuals and teams are eligible to apply for grants of $500 and $3000 respectively. Grants can contribute towards the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms and equipment to support participation in an official state or national sporting competition or national school sport competition. Recipients must be between 12 and 18 years of age (inclusive) and travelling more than 250km return to compete at these competitions,” he said.

Mr Hawker said the Australian Sports Commission manages the Local Sporting Champions program on behalf of the Australian Government.

The Local Sporting Champions grant program is now open. To apply or for more information visit www.ausport.gov.au/champions.

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100