Grants help our local sports talents reach for the stars

Claire Barr with her bronze medal won earlier this year at the Georgina Hope Championships in Brisbane. Picture: AARON COOPER

Claire Barr with her bronze medal won earlier this year at the Georgina Hope Championships in Brisbane. Picture: AARON COOPER

FEDERAL Member for Mallee Andrew Broad has continued his support for talented junior sportstars with 25 young athletes receiving $500 for their sporting journey.

Mr Broad said the program is essential for junior sportsmen and women who can find the financial burden of participating in representative sporting championships difficult.

“I think particularly for our country athletes and their families it’s harder, sometimes the cost of travel alone can get really expensive, let alone accommodation and food,” Mr Broad said.

In order to be eligible for the grant, the athletes had to be turning 12 to 18 years of age in the same calendar year as the nominated sporting championship and be living more than 125km from the championship venue.

Talented local swimmer Claire Barr is one of those athletes who will receive the grant, after competing at state and national events this year.

The Nyah Two Bays Swim Club member has already ventured to championships in Brisbane and Melbourne this year and will compete at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide in December.

Barr has received the grant for the past two years and her mother Corrine says it definitely helps with an often hectic schedule.

“This will be Claire’s third trip to Adelaide after one in 2015 and another in 2016, so it [the grant] definitely helps with the travel,” she said.

“She swam in Darwin for Team Vic and that was a big trip.”

Claire has only been swimming for a handful of years, and despite not being an overly sporty person previously, a little encouragement from staff at Swan Hill Specialist School had her in the pool and loving it.

Now, the teenager says she enjoys swimming the 1500m freestyle and her mother says it’s tough to keep her out.

“She [Claire] gets up at 5am for training without complaint,” she said.

Claire holds aspirations of representing Australia at next year’s Commonwealth Games, but due to time constraints and events on offer at the Games, the attention may soon turn to the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

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