Alister Henskens portrait
Alister Henskens portrait

Ku-ring-gai Electorate Local Sport Grants

Stealers Softball

Mr ALISTER HENSKENS (Ku-ring-gai) (15:26:51): There is an extraordinary level of talent throughout Ku-ring-gai, including within its sporting clubs. Whether rugby, football, netball, cricket, tennis, basketball—and the list goes on—sport in Australia is part of our culture and delivers important friendships and fun as well as benefits to our physical and mental wellbeing. It has been a trying few months, with sport sidelined for health and safety reasons. However, during that lay-off 12 Ku-ring-gai clubs have received news of their success in obtaining a New South Wales Government Local Sport Grant under the 2019-20 program. In conversations with the clubs I hear that the recent grants have been a welcome psychological boost for their volunteers.

Since 2016 grants have been delivered to more than 34 sports projects in Ku-ring-gai, worth over $180,000. The funding goes towards increasing regular and ongoing participation in sport, including sport development such as training and up-skilling; assisting clubs to provide quality facilities and equipment to its members; and breaking down barriers to sport participation, specifically for women and girls. Ku-ring-gai clubs shared more than $35,000 in funding for the current round. I congratulate the following clubs on receiving grants: Gordon North Sydney Hockey Club received just under $4,000 to purchase safety equipment for its junior players; Hornsby Junior Rugby Club received $2,000 for the provision of level 1 coaching as well as equipment; Wahroonga Rugby Club received $5,000 to purchase game-day jerseys for all players; Loreto Normanhurst Swim Club received just under $1,700 to purchase pace clocks and chin-up bars; and West Pymble Bicentennial Bowling Club received $5,000 to purchase bowling jackets and shirts for members.

The following organisations also received a New South Wales Government Local Sport Grant: The Hornsby Ku-ring-gai and Hills District Cricket Coaches Association received $2,000 for the provision of cricket coaching for girls and disadvantaged groups; West Pymble Cricket Club received $1,000 for the provision of coaching accreditation for its new junior cricket coaches; Hornsby Rugby Club received $5,000 to purchase uniforms and equipment; Old Barker Rugby Club received $1,000 to purchase a marquee to provide a portable female changing facility; and Knox Old Boys Rugby Club received $3,000 to install an electronic scoreboard at Lofberg Oval, West Pymble, which is utilised by various community groups.

The announcement that community sport could recommence from 1 July 2020 came as welcome news in my electorate. Another recipient of the current round of grants was North Turramurra Football Club. Recently I was fortunate enough to visit the club to congratulate it personally on obtaining a grant of just under $4,000. That financial boost will go towards updating player uniforms and club equipment. I thank club president Graham Leslie and Northern Suburbs Football Association CEO Ed Ferguson for joining me to watch the under‑13s team play at their home ground in North Turramurra. It was fantastic to see all players smiling and having fun after the interruption to their season.

The Ku-ring-gai Stealers Baseball & Softball Club secured $5,000 under the current grants round. That much‑needed funding will assist the club in purchasing new uniforms for all of its players. I look forward to congratulating club president Adrian Steer and the club's junior softball team this weekend. As previously mentioned in this place, in 2019 the Ku-ring-gai Netball Association [KNA] received $200,000 under the New South Wales Government's My Community Project to install lights on nine of its netball courts. Although we could not mark the launch of these lights with a formal event this year, earlier this month I was able to see them for myself. They look great and I know the association could not be happier. The lights have given KNA much‑needed flexibility during the operation of the current public health orders. My recent visit gave me an opportunity to see how KNA has managed its COVID‑safe return to netball, which is absolutely outstanding. KNA president Jo‑Anne Perry and her entire team have gone above and beyond, and I congratulate them on their commitment.

I take this opportunity to thank all local sporting organisations across my electorate for their patience and dedication in keeping their communities COVID safe. Certainly, it has not been easy to comply with the public health orders. I have observed how diligent they have been during my visits to our sporting clubs. Over the past four years, Ku-ring-gai grant recipients under the Local Sport Grant Program have been worthy recipients. The awarding of those small grants enable clubs to provide the best resources for their members and is a great boost for our local community. Sport helps create stronger, safer, happier, and more connected individuals and communities. The Local Sport Grant Program has become increasingly popular over the years. I thank the 22 organisations that submitted applications in the last round. I continue to endorse the program and I look forward to it positively serving our local communities for many years.