The Tumbarumba Australian Football and Netball Club (TAFNC) has been successful in obtaining a grant for over $9,000 through round two of the Confident Girls Foundation Bushfire Recovery Grants initiative.
Netball Australia’s official charity, the Confident Girls Foundation, established the Bushfire Relief Appeal in March to support associations and clubs within the netball community that were affected by devastating bushfires that swept the country this summer.
In response to this call for donations, the netball community rallied together and raised more than $365,000.
This first round of grants was announced in June, with eight netball clubs and associations from across NSW, Victoria and South Australia sharing over $50,000 to help them recover, to help rebuild infrastructure, purchase equipment, cover the cost of registrations and fees, hold clinics and special community events and supply uniforms, among many other initiatives.
The seven recipients of round two of funding were announced last week, with TAFNC receiving $9,775 out of the $45,000 distributed.
TAFNC’s Sigrid Cottam applied for the grant on behalf of the club after hearing about the initiative from the Corryong Demons Football Netball Club, which received $10,000 in Round 1 of the program.
“The Corryong Demons Football Netball Club were successful in round one of the funding earlier this year and very kindly reached out to let us know about the release of Round 2 in June,” Cottam said.
“The application process was straightforward, but like many grant applications, it took time, focus and a team effort to get across the line.
“We first had to develop and carefully plan out a project that aligned with both the objectives of the grant program and the needs of our local netball community. Following this, we had to submit a comprehensive budget, project timeline, risk assessment and had to detail what outcomes we were hoping to achieve for our local netball and sporting community.”
The application was submitted on July 31, with about an hour or so to go before the cut off time.
Cottam said she is delighted to finally be able to announce the exciting news to the club and wider community.
“News came through in September, but was under embargo until the Confident Girls Foundation made their own announcement. It was tough getting such exciting news and not being able to shout it from the rooftops so it’s brilliant that we can now finally share it with everyone and start our planning to spend the funds,” she said.
“Being the first grant we’ve applied for in a little while, we were certainly hoping for the best. There are so many deserving netball clubs across Australia right now and our project was focused on social outcomes more so than replacing fire damaged assets so we weren’t sure where we sat on the list of priorities.”
Those involved with developing the application took a multi-pronged approach to the project in an effort to cover as many grant program objectives as they could, while meeting the practical and social needs of the club.
The application was approved to upgrade the netball goal posts at the Tumbarumba club facilities, purchase new Filers netball uniforms, and facilitate a 10-week social, mixed gender “Twilight Series Fast Five” netball competition to bring the sporting community together, focussing on mental health, social connectedness, fitness and skills development.
Cottam said she feels extremely grateful to have received the funding.
“No football this year mixed with varying degrees of Covid-19 restrictions has seen our club miss out on a number of social and fundraising activities we would usually host throughout the year,” she said.
“Funding provided for infrastructure and subsidised club uniforms will really help us start the 2021 season off on the front foot and we hope that the Fast Five competition can support our transition back to a bit of club normality.
“Being a mixed gender comp and a more social, relaxed but faster version of netball, we hope to get a number of our footballers and non-netballers on the court for a run around and a bit of fun ahead of the 2021 season.”
TAFNC netball vice president Bec Clarke praised Cottam for the initiative she has shown in applying for the grant.
“It’s really exciting; Sigrid’s done a great job,” Clarke said.
“I am so grateful that Sigrid has joined the club and that she is willing to use her time to help the club out in applying for these grants, like she’s been doing this year.
“The loyalty of people like her, even when she’s very new to the club and her future vision of how to help the club, it just makes it a lot easier – that’s one less job that I or someone else on the committee has to do.
“To have people like Sigrid come into the club, she is obviously very good at applying for grants, but it still does take time, you’ve got to put a bit of thought into what you’re doing,” she said.
Fellow Upper Murray Football and Netball League club Federal have also been successful in Round 2 of the funding, with the Corryong club receiving $10,000 through the program.
Confident Girls Foundation CEO Nadine Cohen said the Foundation is delighted to continue providing support to those in need.
“2020 has been an enormous year for all, but especially for those affected by the devastating bushfires we saw in late 2019 and earlier this year, so it’s important we continue to rally and support our netball family members that might need an extra boost to get back on their feet,” Cohen said.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support and donations the Confident Girls Foundation received in order to launch this initiative, and it’s thanks to this support of the netball community, donors and our partners, that we have been able to provide these much needed funds to help clubs and associations recover.”
Donations can still be made at donate.netball.com.au and applications for Round 3 of the Confident Girls Foundation Bushfire Recovery grants will open in 2021, with dates to be confirmed.
An advisory committee with representatives from Netball Australia, the netball community and the Confident Girls Foundation assessed and moderated all applications and the Foundation Board approved the grants.
The Confident Girls Foundation uses netball as a vehicle for change to help address emotional, social and physical wellbeing. Since its inception, the Confident Girls Foundation has supported more than 74,000 girls, women and their communities, granted more than $1.6 million, supported more than 860 programs in across 430 Australian locations, with more than 50% in regional, remote and rural communities.
More information can be found on the Confident Girls Foundation website.