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Applications are now open to talented young people involved in sport looking for help with some of the costs of competing at a state, national or international level.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is encouraging juniors, coaches and officials aged between 12 and 19 to apply for financial support through the Local Sporting Champions program.

“Gippsland has produced many great athletes over the years and we have many talented young people involved in different sports now rising up through the ranks,” Mr Chester said.

“Competing at state, national and international level requires enormous dedication by young athletes and support from their families, but one barrier to them achieving their dreams is the cost of attending high-level events.

“The program encourages more young people to get more active more often at an age when junior athletes start to take sport more seriously, but are more likely to drop out.

“If we can help them to realise their potential as athletes, coaches or officials by meeting some of these expenses, then we might be providing them with the encouragement they need to stick with sport. Indeed, we may be helping to nurture a future sport star.”

The Local Sporting Champions program provides grants of up to $750 to attend official state and national championship events, and international events as a member of an official Australian team.

Grant money may be spent on expenses including competition entry fees or levies, transport costs (including petrol), accommodation, uniforms and sporting equipment.

Applications for this second round of the grant program close on September 30. The first round of the grant program was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Anyone hoping to receive a grant to attend an eligible event are encouraged to apply in this round: applications can be withdrawn if an event is subsequently cancelled or participants cannot attend.

For more information and to apply, visit https://www.sportaus.gov.au/grants_and_funding/local_sporting_champions#apply_now

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