By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on December 22, 2017
THREE community groups in the Great Southern will share in $30,000 of federal government funding after a recent announcement from Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson via the Stronger Communities Program.
The Denmark Gymnastics group will receive $20,000 to fit out a shed as a permanent gymnasium, $7500 will go to the City of Albany to buy new equipment for the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre, and $2500 has been granted to Albany PCYC for play equipment and shade sails.
Denmark Gymnastics’ Katy Rutter said she felt relieved and overjoyed when she received news of the group’s new financial support for a permanent gymnasium.
“We’ve been fundraising and applying for grants for the past five or so years, so when Rick Wilson’s office contacted us about the grant, I felt a bit of disbelief,” she said.
“A shed became available to us and the grant came through at a similar time, so everything just fell into place.”
Currently, the Denmark Gymnastics crew gets together every Thursday at the Denmark Recreation Centre and every Wednesday at the Mt Barker Recreation Centre, to cater for the big group of keen gymnasts.
“When I first started out, I was thinking I’d have a class of 15 kids, but 40 kids turned up on the first day,” Ms Rutter said.
“It takes us an hour to set up and an hour to take everything down each week at the rec centres, and we only have limited times we can be there.
“So now with the new shed, we can have everything permanently set up and run more classes, so more kids can have the chance to do gymnastics.
“I’ve got a wait list of 40 kids, so we will be able to cater for them with the new gymnasium.”
The $20,000 grant will be used to extend and enclose the shed, concrete the extension’s floor, and install toilet and shower facilities.
Any remaining money will be combined with the group’s savings to purchase matting and wall bars.