A passion for providing equal access to sport and active recreation has seen Valley Sport and the Tomorrow Today Foundation continue to partner within the Rural City of Benalla in the aim of removing barriers to participation for young people.

Through a number of community workshops and consultations a “Come and Try” initiative was established to provide a strong connection between the clubs and residents that call the Benalla Shire home. The initiative also aimed to give local sporting groups and organisations the ability to showcase their environment and activities, helping boost their membership and grow participation rates throughout the region.

Utilising the resources and support of the Tomorrow Today Foundation, members of the community facing financial barriers to participation were able to seek support from the foundation in covering registration and participation fees. Valley Sport Project Officer Kayla Ryan said that this initiative was a great example of the whole community coming together to show their collective support.

“Sporting clubs so often are the heartbeat of rural communities. They provide a place for members of the community to be active, belong and make friendships through. Our partnership with the Tomorrow Today Foundation and the Benalla sporting community has shown their willingness to support everyone within the region, no matter the obstacles they face”.

The “Come N Try” initiative featured interactive activities from the Benalla Rovers Soccer Club, North Eastern Archers, Benalla Triathlon Club, Astronomy Benalla, Benalla Little Athletics, Benalla Golf Club, Benalla Netball, Benalla Lawn Tennis Club, Benalla Scouts, Benalla Badminton, In the Groove African Drumming, Benalla Gardens Tennis Club, Benalla Bushrangers Cricket Club, Benalla Swimming Club and the Benalla Kendo Club.

Ryan said that the strong turnout of clubs had led to a successful day with positive verbal feedback aplenty.

“We were absolutely thrilled with the large number of clubs who came and put on a display of their sport. The members of the community really felt like they were able to connect with the club and try their hand at the activity, which sparked some long-term participation interest from a number of those there on the day. We’re going to continue to work within the region to support both the clubs and the community in strengthening their connection even further”.

For more information on participation opportunities within your local area contact the Valley Sport office, info@valleysport.net.au or (03) 5831 8456