Federal cash splash for sporting program in Mount Druitt

Monday, 24 August 2020

Newly arrived migrant and refugee women will be the focus of a new initiative aimed at ensuring all people can participate in sport and physical activity.


Under the Morrison Government’s Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity program, the Mt Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency will receive $53,000 over two years for the SWIM SAFE project.


SWIM SAFE is a 10-week swim program for women who are newly arrived migrants and refugees that aims to simultaneously build water confidence and community connections in the Mt Druitt area.


Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said programs like SWIM SAFE play a critical role in empowering women and boosting social inclusion.


“We know that sport helps to build powerful connections, and during these difficult times, that’s something needed like never before,” Senator Payne.


“The SWIM SAFE program will create a safe and welcoming environment for women who might otherwise feel uncomfortable around pools and beaches.”


Minister for Youth and Sport, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, said sport and physical activity is a key element to a stronger, more resilient and connected life.


“It is important for all Australians to have opportunities to lead an active and healthy lifestyle,” Minister Colbeck said. 


“Supporting organisations to promote sport and physical activity as a powerful tool for inclusion is a key part of addressing this problem.


Daniel Gobena, manager at the Mt Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency, welcomed the funding.


“MECA is very grateful to have received this grant, especially in critical times like this to support the women in our community,” Mr Gobena said.


As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and community-based group sport and physical activity resumes, grant recipients have been given an extended timeframe to December 2022 to deliver funded activities.


The grants are the outcome of an open competitive process run by the Federal Government last year.


All projects that have been awarded funding were recommended by the Department of Health.


It is part of the Government’s $71 million investment in social cohesion initiatives to build stronger communities.


Senator Colbeck reiterated advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), recommending the resumption of sport and recreation activities must be done safely and not compromise the health and safety of individuals and the community.


Further information about the Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity program is available here.



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