Bundaberg Regional Council has handed a $200,000 lifeline to sporting clubs and organisations impacted by coronavirus.
Grants of up to $5000 will help cover costs for ground maintenance, electricity and gas bills, insurance, hygiene stations, cleaning and volunteer engagement.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said the survival of organised sport was vital for the community’s health and wellbeing.
“Sporting organisations are the lifeblood of our community and we’re committed to supporting them during these unprecedented times,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“Many clubs are doing it tough because of a drop in membership and volunteers, fundraising opportunities and finding the resources to keep their grounds and facilities maintained.
“These grants will make a real difference and help sports recover quickly.”
Council’s sports and recreation portfolio spokesman, Cr Vince Habermann, welcomed the initiative and said more than 40 clubs and organisations would be eligible for assistance.
Cr Habermann said the program aims to assist organisations that maintain community sporting infrastructure and applications are expected to open in July.
“We listened to feedback from clubs and came up with a targeted package that offers meaningful support,” he said.
“Community sport relies on volunteers, public attendance and fundraising to thrive.
“Without volunteers the grounds don’t get mowed. Without crowds there are no canteen sales or raffles and unfortunately crowds won’t be able to return for some time.
“We want to give sporting clubs a hand to get back on their feet.”
The Community Sport Support Grant Program is the latest in a raft of council initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A mayoral minute in March was ratified by the new Council, including a moratorium on outstanding rates and charges, rent relief for tourism and retail businesses, booking refunds at venues, and a six-month holiday from dog registration.