John Dickson and I had the pleasure of hosting an informal luncheon at Tattersalls Club on Tuesday with the Minister for Sport Steve Dickson MP and a select few industry associates of DWS Hospitality Specialists. It was during this lunch, that Mr Dickson announced a major new funding initiative for sports clubs; Get in the Game which I will highlight further on.
DWS initiated the lunch to introduce key industry associates to each other and allow for more relaxed and intimate conversations with the Minister about the Club industry and share what great work each association is doing for their industry.
The gathering included key personnel such as Rhys Turner (Chief of Staff LNP), Barry Woodger (Deputy President Surf Life Saving Qld), Ralph Devlin (President Surf Life Saving Qld), Keith Fullerton (CEO Bowls Queensland), Des O’Neill (Director Bowls Queensland), Lindsay Ellis (CEO Golf Queensland), Peter Castrisos (Chairman Golf Queensland), Terry Meehan (State President RSL Queensland), Peter Turnbull (CEO Leagues Club Australia), Mark Hennelly (Queensland Director Leagues Club Australia), Craig Thomas Queensland Club Manager of the Year (Brothers Leagues Club Townsville) and of course the Minister for Sport Steve Dickson.
Ralph Devlin (President Surf Life Saving Qld and also well known for his role in the Fitzgerald enquiry) entertained us with some great experiences at the Queensland Bar. We were also privileged to have Barry Woodger join us for the lunch; a little remembered fact is that Barry won the Surf Ironman title in 1982, straight after Grant Kenny’s dominance in the event in Queensland.
During the lunch, the Minister acknowledged the great work that sports clubs do for the wider community and also the broad reach of contribution from RSL clubs into sport in Queensland. The new funding program is worth over $18 million over the next three years and is designed to get more people participating in sport and recreational activities.
The Minister discussed the three Get in the Game programs, which I have highlighted for you below:
Get Started – Funding to help kids participate
Get Started assists children and young people who can least afford or may otherwise benefit from joining a sport or recreation club. Eligible children and young people are provided with a voucher of up to $150 to help pay for club membership and participation fees. The vouchers can be redeemed at a sport or recreation club registered with the program.
Get Going – Funding to help clubs grow
Get Going supports local sport and recreation organisations with funding of up to $10,000 for projects that create opportunities for more Queenslanders to become members.
Get Playing – Funding to improve facilities
Get Playing provides up to $100,000 in funding to assist local sport and recreation organisations with facility development so more Queenslanders are encouraged to become involved in the sport or recreation activity of their choice.
Overall, it was a fantastic afternoon and the Minister was able to talk candidly with our guests about current issues affecting the industry. DWS will certainly be looking to host more of these events in the not too distant future, so please get in touch if you would like to be involved next time.