Volleyball in South Australia is set to receive a significant boost with a funding partnership that will benefit eligible clubs in the South Australian Volleyball League (SAVL).
Volleyball South Australia (VSA) has enpartneredith the South Australian and Northern Territory Freemasons, securing a substantial financial boost of $176,000 to support affiliated clubs. This funding will be utilised for venue hire, purchasing new equipment, and acquiring essential resources and tools to foster the sport's growth and development at both metropolitan and regional levels.
Volleyball has been experiencing a surge in popularity, especially among school children, with memberships for Volleyball Australia and state-based organisations doubling since 2015. According to the Australian Sports Commission's latest AusPlay report, over 264,000 people aged 15 and over participated in volleyball, including nearly 20,000 South Australians. VSA has seen membership grow by 1,500 in the past 12 months, reaching almost 8,700 active members. The state league contains 81 teams across 12 clubs, with nine additional clubs and associations affiliated with VSA.
Through a grant application process managed by VSA, affiliated clubs, including those in the top-tier metro league and those based in regional South Australia, such as Port Pirie and the Fleurieu Peninsula, can access funding provided by the Freemasons. The funds will be allocated to create pathways for increased participation, operational capacity development, marketing strategy enhancement, coaching and referee education, and strategic planning for sustainable growth. Clubs can apply for grant funding ranging from $2,000 up to $15,000, and the total grant amount of $176,000 includes a GST component.
Karla Della Pietra, CEO of Volleyball SA, expressed her enthusiasm for this collaboration, stating that it "brings together two organisations committed to positively impacting their communities and fostering growth and development in the sport of volleyball."
She highlighted the Freemasons' remarkable charitable work and their dedication to promoting inclusivity and participation in various endeavours, including their support for community partners like the Sammy D Foundation and SA Surf Life Saving.
Ms. Della Pietra also emphasised the unique nature of volleyball in Australia, as it is one of the most gender-equal sports and appeals to a broad demographic, from young children to individuals over 50. She expressed her pleasure at the Freemasons' vision to invest in communities through this fantastic sport.
Boyd Sparrow, the Grand Secretary of Freemasons SA & NT, echoed this sentiment and explained that their collaboration with Volleyball SA is intended to empower local communities and build on the success of existing partnerships with other not-for-profit community sporting organisations, such as surf lifesaving. He emphasized the positive impact of volleyball on mental health, well-being, and community bonding, and how the sport fosters essential character-building skills like leadership, teamwork, respect, and communication.
Mr. Sparrow emphasised the Freemasons' commitment to investing in people and communities for over 350 years, and their ongoing dedication to these values.
This partnership between Volleyball South Australia and the South Australian and Northern Territory Freemasons represents a significant step forward in fostering the growth and development of volleyball in the region. It not only provides essential financial support but also underscores the importance of community collaboration and inclusivity in sports development.
Applications for this grant will open early in 2024, with the application process going through Ms. Della Pietra.
For further information, please contact:
Media & Communications Manager at Volleyball South Australia