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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Strengthening community at region’s first sports conference


Everyone walked away from the region’s first sports conference ready to kick goals.

The South East and Tablelands Regional Sports and Recreation Conference program was jam-packed over two days (Friday and Saturday 14-15 October) at the Bay Pavilions.

Lachlan Clarke of NSW Office of Sport talking with Carl Ginger of Eurobodalla Council during panel discussion

Tina Smith with Olympian Jane Flemming

Representatives from different government agencies shared strategies and plans which were followed up with great questions from the crowd.

Council’s recreation coordinator and event organiser Tina Smith said the passion from each speaker was “incredible”.

“They had such great insights to boosting participation in sport and active recreation,” Ms Smith said.

“It was great to see attendees taking notes and asking questions throughout the conference.”

Attendee Jamie Clout collected valuable information to help start a new mountain bike club.

He said the conference gave him more confidence in the lead up to the Batemans Bay Mountain Bike Club’s inaugural meeting.

From learning about the significance of a welcome to country by Indigenous Elder Owen Carriage, to understanding the process of applying for grants – Mr Clout said the content was relevant and appreciated the networking opportunities.

Ms Smith said more than 60 people registered for the conference, with varying numbers attending the different presentations.

“There were representatives from a kayak tour business, veterans’ cricket and surf clubs to name a few,” Ms Smith said.

“To see a greater attendance of local sport and recreation representatives would have increased the networking opportunities, which is what we hoped for.”

Ms Smith said Council was looking towards further partnership opportunities with NSW Office of Sport in future to continue to build the capacity of the local community.

“It was valuable for different agencies to be in the same room talking with the community about participation and facilities as well as modern approaches to coaching and how to create inclusive club cultures,” Ms Smith said.

Helen Palombo of the Nature Coast Dragon Boat Club said it was great to learn the different levels of government and their role in sport and recreation.

“The conference helped reinforce our club’s core vision, which is to build community,” she said.

After moving to Moruya, Ms Palombo joined the dragon boat club to meet new people.

“It is a welcoming group of community people,” she said.

Ms Palombo said the club was focussed on growing member numbers to support those who want to compete.

She said the presentation from Australian Community Media journalist Joel Erickson was a highlight.

“It was great to know how we can use the local media to help get our message out there,” she said.

Councillor Peter Diskon was MC during the event and thanked everyone who attended.

Above: Dragon boater Helen Palombo with mountain biker Jamie Clout.

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