The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) has today opened the application process for its Para-sport Equipment Fund.
Grants are now on offer from the Fund, which is designed to provide opportunities to participate in Para-sport by addressing the challenges associated with the high cost of Para-sport equipment.
For successful applicants, the APC will support them to meet the cost of customised Para-sport equipment, which has long been identified as a significant barrier to Para-sport participation.
Eligible applicants will be able to seek funding for equipment including sport-specific wheelchairs, prosthetics, adapted or modified seating and handcycles, with newcomers to Para-sport, community sport participants, emerging Para-athletes, not-for-profit sport organisations and registered education facilities all encouraged to apply. For information on eligibility requirements and the selection process, please click here.
APC Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said the Fund would encourage a far greater level of participation in Para-sport than seen previously in Australia.
“One of the greatest barriers to participation in Para-sport is the cost and suitability of equipment,” Anderson said. “We already know the APC has a great track record of assisting emerging elite athletes to identify the right equipment and capitalise on their skill, but I am confident the Para-sport Equipment Fund will take it to a new level and benefit people from around Australia who have an interest in Para-sport.
“One of the major components of the Fund is an asset bank of loan equipment, which aims to offer a range of equipment access solutions for Australians with disabilities who would like to participate in Para-sport but are unable to outlay, for instance, the $16,000 it costs to purchase a fully customised wheelchair rugby chair.”
The Fund was launched by the APC late last year, with an initial $1 million investment from Sport Australia.
APC Board Member and five-time Paralympian Kurt Fearnley said the Fund will make an enduring impact.
“Sport Australia and the Australian Paralympic Committee are in the business of excellence in sport, but also lifelong physical activity for Australians,” Fearnley said. “This right here is another step in the right direction to make sure all of our community have access to something that I love and something that changed my world. We will see the benefits of this in the next decade and decades to come.”
The APC continues to pursue financial contributions to the Fund through corporate sponsorship, donations, direct response appeals and more.
To apply for funding through the Para-sport Equipment Fund, please click here.
By Lauren Robertson, APC Media