Support for regional stars
For a regional athlete with dreams of making the big-time, it can be hard to make those dreams happen when all the opportunities seem to come easily for those living in big cities.
Luckily, 17 of the Kimberley’s finest young athletes were recently given some well-earned support by the WA Government through the Regional Athlete Travel Subsidy scheme.
The RATS scheme assists up-and-coming athletes aged between 13 and 21 with the extra financial burden they face travelling to compete in regional, State and national events, taking care of out-of-pocket travel and accommodation expenses.
For the Broome Netball Association, the funding was put towards sending their best girls to Perth last year when they represented WA’s North West in the State Cup last year.
Broome Netball Association and Broome Sports Association committee member Trenna Wadge said it was very reassuring for the State Government to have such a program in place for regional athletes.
“Without this important funding, not all of our girls or any of our young athletes would be able to make it down to Perth for tournaments and workshops,” she said.
“It’s really important to help them be able to follow the same pathways as any athlete in the metro area would without worrying about whether or not they can afford to follow their dreams.
“Not being able to afford travel and accommodation fees to these sorts of events can really stop some talented athletes from being scouted and reaching their full potential so we’re very appreciative of this funding.”
Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray said the RATS program ensured support was in place for regional athletes.
“Some of the State’s best sportspeople were born and bred in country WA and the State Government wants to ensure they are not disadvantaged when it comes to competing at competitions and ultimately reaching their full potential,” he said.
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