Driving social inclusion across Gold Coast beaches

People with physical and intellectual disabilities living on the Gold Coast will be the focus of a new initiative aimed at ensuring people of all abilities can access the mainstream beach areas throughout Gold Coast City during the summer months.

The Federal Member for Fadden has welcomed the allocation of $149,560 in funding for Volunteering Gold Coast, one of 57 successful recipients selected as part of the program, Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity.

The $19 million initiative is designed to strengthen communities through participation.

“Volunteering Gold Coast was identified as serving an important role in bridging the divide and encouraging social inclusion across our iconic Gold Coast beaches,” Stuart Robert said.

“This organisation and others like it continue to play a vital role as we strive toward being more inclusive.”

“There is a need in our community to develop an initiative to ensure the Gold Coast’s legendary beaches are accessible for people of all abilities.”

The grants are the outcome of an open competitive process run by the Federal Government last year. It attracted more than 850 applications.

All projects that have been awarded funding were recommended by the Department of Health. The program will also target female sporting groups.

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

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

“This is even more important as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Colbeck said. “It is important for all Australians to have opportunities to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.”

“Supporting organisations to promote sport and physical activity as a powerful tool for inclusion is a key part of addressing this problem. Australians want to get moving again. We want sport and recreation – with all the health, economic, social and cultural benefits – back in our communities.”

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.

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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