By Derek Schlennstedt

Dozens of sporting clubs across Northern Victoria will benefit from the Andrews Labor Government’s Sporting Club Grants Program which is assisting in business case development, new uniforms and equipment, and skills training.
Included in the second release of the grants program was Healesville’s Outdoor Swimming pool, which put forward an application earlier this year.
The funding they received has gone towards new stopwatches and improving coaches’ skills.
Stuart Marshall, president of Healesville Outdoor Swimming pool, said he was delighted with the funding boost.
“The swimming committee were absolutely thrilled to get that funding,” Mr Marshall said.
“We got funding for courses to put the coaches through, and the other was to upgrade all our stopwatches.”
“About $800 to upgrade the stopwatches.”
The courses will help the coaches improve their skills and Mr Marshall said the funding was much-needed.
“It definitely helps ease a lot of our pressure as we are just a small club and we need as many members to stay viable so any funding we can get goes along way.”
The Sporting Club Grants Program is aimed at removing barriers and supporting people of all ages and abilities to participate in grassroots sports clubs.
Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes said grants would help expand the skills of coaches and officials and strengthen the operations and sustainability of sporting clubs.
“This funding will help local clubs build business cases to improve local facilities, provide much-needed uniforms and equipment as well as upskill club officials and coaches with the latest training courses,” Ms Symes said.
But The Jack Hort Memorial pool was unable to receive any funding due to being ineligible for government grants – as a result of being on Department of Education land.
“Because we are part of the Department of Education it makes us ineligible to apply for other government subsidies,” said Ross Ilsley, manager at the Jack Hort Memorial Pool.
It is believed that as a result of being on Education Department land the Jack Hort pool is unable to access directly money from a state or federal level unless Yarra Ranges Shire make an application on their behalf.
Yarra Ranges Council Director of Environment and Engineering, Mark Varmalis in a statement said they would continue to work closely with Jack Hort memorial Pool management in the future.
“Council provides annual maintenance funding, with additional funds to address the pool’s annual operating deficit through a joint use agreement.”
“As a member of the committee of management for the pool, council would support and be able to facilitate a grant application in partnership with the pool’s management,” Mr Varmalis said.

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