Baseball Victoria proudly supported four baseball clubs in their applications for VicHealth Active Club Grants, and two were successful!
Heathmont Baseball Club and Research Lower Plenty Baseball Clubs were recently named as recipients of the Active Club Grants, which are aimed at providing more opportunities for participation in sport, particularly for those people who would otherwise not have as many options to get involved. The VicHealth Active Club Grants are designed to improve the health and wellbeing of less active Victorians, and it’s fantastic that two local clubs have received funding that will go a long way in helping to grow participation and inclusion at the grassroots level.
The grants will also provide more social, flexible and accessible sport programs as well as greater opportunities for people from disadvantaged communities to take part in sport.
Heathmont Baseball Club has received a $3,000 grant to help with the costs of equipment, uniform and promotion as they introduce an entry level tee ball program with modified rules and equipment for children. “Juniors are the lifeblood of any club, and attracting juniors to baseball has become increasingly difficult,” Heathmont Club Secretary John Weichard said. “We’re hoping that by putting a really big effort into this program, backed by the grant, we’re going to be able to bring a whole new generation into Heathmont. We think baseball is the best game in the world, so it would be great to expose as many people as possible to it.”
Research-Lower Plenty Baseball Club has also received funding for increasing female participation as they introduce women’s baseball for the first time in the club’s 64-year history. The club has received an additional $2,000 in This Girl Can funding as they strive to provide a welcoming environment for girls and women to take part in sport and be active. The VicHealth Active Club Grants will coincide with a number of upgrades happening at the club, including the addition of new batting cages and female-friendly facilities in a new pavilion.
Research Lower Plenty Baseball Club is looking to build on their existing Summer T-Ball Smash Program for junior girls by creating a development pathway for young female athletes who want to grow with the club and enjoy opportunities to play at a higher level.
“From a club point of view, we wanted to give our junior girls a pathway. At the moment, we have about 100 kids running around on a Friday night, and 35-40% of them are girls. Up until this year, they didn’t have a pathway where they could move on to a senior program without playing with grown men,” RLPBC President Paul Crundwell said. “We became proactive and wanted to start a winter program for women. The grant will help to provide equipment and a pathway for both girls who have chosen baseball as their sport but also for those who are new to baseball. We have a number of first-time players in our women’s program who have never played before, and we’re looking to promote and expand that program for next year.”
Baseball Victoria Acting CEO Jeff Paull says it’s great to see the initiative of these clubs. “Baseball Victoria is proud to support clubs with clear inclusion and participation goals through grant applications, and we’re pleased that these two clubs have received funding that will go a long way in improving Victorian baseball at the grassroots level.”
Learn more about the Active Club Grant Program here: https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/funding/active-club-grants