By Mitchell Clarke
Cranbourne Little Athletics Centre has received a share of more than $500,000 in a much-needed funding boost for sports equipment.
The Little Athletics Centre based at Casey Fields was one of 158 grassroots sports clubs across the country to receive funding from the latest round of the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund.
The $2800 grant is a welcome boost for the centre, and comes amid research from the Australian Sports Foundation in July, which estimated more than 16,000 local sports clubs were at risk of closing due to the pandemic.
Cranbourne Little Athletics’ grants and sponsorships manager Dean McCaughan said the grant will help to get athletes and volunteers “back on track” after a tough year.
Mr McCaughan said the grant will have a “huge impact” on the centre.
“This will help ensure we can continue to provide a safe environment for our athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators,” he said.
“It will allow us to purchase new marquees and provide shade and shelter for our athletes.”
Coles state general manager Mark O’Connor said the supermarket giant was pleased to continue its support of Cranbourne’s budding athletes and parent volunteers.
“We hope news of this $2,800 grant to Cranbourne Little Athletics centre will give their athletes, families and volunteers a morale boost ahead of the new season,” he said.
“We know it’s been a difficult six months for everyone involved in community sport, particularly little athletes.
“Coles is passionate about helping kids lead healthier, happier lives. That’s why we’re delighted to have raised more than $363,000 in Victoria and $1.68 million nationally for local sports clubs through the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund in just two years.”
Funds for the grant are raised through the sale of specially marked chiller bags designed by Aussie kids.
Ten percent of every bag sold is directed to the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund.