December 23, 2016
Young basketballer Jack Hrehoresen is one of 11 Gippslanders to receive a $500 grant from the latest round of the Federal Government’s Local Sporting Champions program.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said Jack, 12, was inspiring other local children to pursue their sporting goals, after being the only Gippslander selected in the School Sports Victoria team to compete at the national championships in Sydney.
“Jack was not only the sole Gippslander, he was the only basketballer from outside of Melbourne to be selected in this elite team,” Mr Chester said.
“When younger athletes see someone like Jack able to make it to this level, despite the burden of travel for training and competitions, it inspires others to aim higher.”
Jack participated in three days of selection trials in Frankston and Coburg to make the state team and then competed in Terrigal, New South Wales, in August. Jack was fortunate to win a premiership at the event, with Victoria taking out the grand final against Queensland 81-34.
In addition, Jack has just been notified he is the recipient of this year’s SSV Sporting Blue Award for boys 12 and under in basketball.
Jack and his Maffra team-mate Coby Burgiel have been selected to play for Keilor in the Victorian Junior basketball League, which is the highest standard of weekly competition in Victoria.
They are required to travel to Keilor one to two times a week for training and every Friday night for matches.
“Basketball is my passion and my dream is to one day play for Australia. Being selected in the Victorian SSV team made me believe that I can achieve my goals,” Jack said.
Mr Chester said the Local Sporting Champions grant was a small contribution to help families with the cost of travelling to competition outside of Gippsland.
“Competing at state, national and international level requires enormous dedication by young athletes and support from their families,” he said.
“The Local Sporting Champions program is designed to support young athletes to reach their potential by easing the financial pressure of taking part in high-level competition.”
The Local Sporting Champions program provides $500 grants to sportspeople aged between 12 and 18 years. It can go toward the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment when competing, coaching or officiating at an official national sporting organisation-endorsed state, national or international sporting championships. School Sport Australia state or national championships are also eligible.
To be eligible to apply for a grant, applicants must live more than 125km from the championship venue, and travel more than 250km return to participate in the nominated event.
Round three of the Local Sporting Champions program is now open and will accept applications until February 28, 2017. For more information on the Local Sporting Champions program, visit http://www.ausport.gov.au/participating/local_sporting_champions.