How Grants Can Help Your Athlete to Compete

Grants Available to Assist in Costs of Young Athletes

Grants Available to Assist in Costs of Young Athletes

Ever mounting costs of supporting young athletes

One of the biggest restrictions to supporting young kids in sport can be cost. The cost of training, equipment, racing and competition fees, travel, coaching…and as most of us know, the list goes on! Grants can provide much-needed assistance to keeping your young athletes competing in sport.

My eldest daughter was selected for both the national athletics and triathlon championships held over the last two months. However both were interstate and therefore costs were extremely restrictive (not to mention the time of 2 weeks off school!). The decision was therefore made to only attend one championship. With these commitments each year for both my girls, the cost of just getting to competitions mounts up.

There is funding available!

We have however, been fortunate enough to win a couple of grants that have definitely helped support competition attendance. So I thought it might be useful to share with you some handy resources. Here is a list of some grants available to your young athletes. They range from vouchers to support primary children in sport, to cash grants for athletes at a state and national level. There are also scholarships for elite athletes training for international events including the Olympics. This list comes from government sources, although some states are more supportive than others!

Grants versus Sponsorships

There are a couple types of grants available to support young athletes. These include government and philanthropic grants.

A grant is where money is given for a particular purpose. It is usually obtained through selection from an application process.

This is distinct from sponsorship where money or in-kind support is provided. It is usually given in return for some sort of access to a commercial benefit such as marketing or advertising.

Grants are more accessible for younger athletes

.Most young athletes are not in the position to deliver on sponsorships at this early stage. Alternatively, the availability of government grants can provide access to much-needed funding. You can find grants at both the Federal and State level.

Scholarships are also available for exceptional talents

If you have a budding young elite athlete, there are also some scholarship programs from the State Institute of Sports bodies.

Grants Available to Assist in Costs of Young Athletes

Australian Government Funding

The Australian Government provides financial support to young athletes through the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). Here are three funding programs your young athlete may be eligible for:

  • Local Sporting Champions Grants Program

One of the most accessible grants available is the Local Sporting Champions Grants program. Grants of up to $500 are available for young Australian athletes. You can apply individually over three funding periods during a year. This program provides financial assistance to young athletes towards the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment. You can apply for relevant endorsed state, national or international events.

  • dAIS – Athlete Grant

The dAIS program provides a direct cash grant for the more developed athlete, those with an opportunity for Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports. It has also recently been given to a growing number of emerging athletes.

  • The Elite Indigenous Travel and Accommodation Assistance Program (EITAAP)

The Elite Indigenous Travel and Accommodation Assistance Program is available to young Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander athletes. It is to assist with out-of-pocket travel and accommodation expenses when attending eligible national championships or international competitions.

State Government funding


  • Athlete Pathway Travel Grants

Unfortunately, previous funding support for up to $2,000 a year for elite athlete travel no longer exists. It has now been restructured into the Athlete Pathway Travel Grants Program that now cannot be applied for directly by individuals. State Sporting Associations are now only eligible to apply for this grant. Funds will then to be passed on to athletes.

  • VIS Scholarship Programs

The Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) provides funding and support to developing athletes through its VIS Scholarship Programs. There are three scholarship programs available:

  1. Tier 1 Sports & Scholarship Program – these are available in the sports of Aerial Skiing, Athletics, Cycling, Diving, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Netball, Rowing, Sailing, Swimming, Triathlon and Water Polo.
  2. Individual Athlete Scholarship Program – these support athletes who do not compete in the VIS Tier 1 sports program and includes elite athletes with a disability*. You can apply for scholarships in March/April. If you are a successful applicant, your annual scholarship is awarded for the period 1 July to 30 June.
  3. Future Talent Program – provides for talented athletes who show outstanding potential for future success but are not yet eligible for a full VIS scholarship due to their age or selection criteria restrictions.

New South Wales

  • NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS)

The NSW Institute of Sport provides support through scholarship programs in the following squad sports – Basketball, Canoe – Slalom, Canoe – Sprint, Cycling, Diving, Hockey, Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, Netball, Rowing, Swimming, Track & Field, Water Polo, Wheelchair Track & Road, and Winter Sports.

The NSW Institute of Sport Individual Athlete Performance Scholarship Program is available for athletes in sports where no NSWIS squad sports program exists.

There is also an NSWIS Emerging Talent Program for talented junior athletes who have produced outstanding results or have shown potential to achieve NSWIS selection standards and world-class results in the future.


  • Young Athletes Travel Subsidy

Queensland’s  Young Athletes Travel Subsidy still provides for individual grants to young athletes. It supports travel to competitions under the three tiers of state ($200), national ($400) and international ($600) competitions.

  • Get Started Vouchers

Get Started Vouchers support sport and active recreation at the grassroots level. This program aims to assist children who can least afford or may otherwise benefit from joining a sport or active recreation club. Eligible children are provided with a voucher valued up to $150, which can be redeemed at a sport or recreation club that is registered for Get Started Vouchers.

  • Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS)

The Queensland Academy of Sport provides support through scholarship programs in the following sports in its High Performance Program – Artistic Gymnastics, Athletics, Baseball, Basketball, Canoeing, Cricket, Cycling, Diving, Football, Golf, Hockey, Netball, Rowing, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Sailing, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball and Water Polo.

The Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) has an Individual Scholarship Program to provide assistance to elite Queensland athletes competing in sports that are not covered by a QAS High Performance Program (as listed above). Applications are open to athletes preparing to participate in a major international series for an Olympic or Paralympic Games event.

Western Australia

  • Athlete Travel Subsidy Scheme

Athlete Travel Subsidy Scheme provides funding for out-of-pocket travel and accommodation expenses directly related to competitions and programs. There are two funding rounds each year.

  • Kidsport Vouchers

KidSport enables eligible Western Australian children aged 5–18 years to participate in community sport and recreation by offering them financial assistance towards club fees. Funding will cover the cost of fees to join the nominated sport or recreation club with a maximum grant of $200 per child per year.

  • Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS)

Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) Scholarship Program provides support across its sports programs for around 200-250 athletes. Sports include Gymnastics, Athletics, Canoeing, Cricket, Cycling, Diving, Hockey, Netball, Rowing, Sailing, Swimming, and Water Polo. There are five scholarship categories: Podium, Podium Potential, International Class, Developing International and Emerging International.

Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) Individual Athlete Support Program (IASP) supports WA elite athletes competing in Olympic, Paralympic, and Commonwealth Games events where WAIS does not have a sports program or the athlete competes in one of the WAIS sports programs outside of the WAIS daily training environment.

South Australia

  • Sports Vouchers

The Sports Vouchers program provide an opportunity for all South Australian primary school-aged children, to receive up to a $50 discount on sports membership/registration fees.

  • South Australian Sports Institute (SASI)

The South Australian Sports Institute provides athlete scholarships in its 9 key sporting programs. These are Canoe – Sprint, Cycling, Diving, Hockey, Netball, Rowing, Swimming, Volleyball and Water Polo.

The South Australian Sports Institute Individual Athlete Program provides support to athletes in sports in addition to the nine sports programs through the Individual Athlete Program in Olympic, Paralympic, and Commonwealth Games disciplines.


  • Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS)

The Tasmanian Institute of Sport Scholarship Program provides athlete scholarships in 7 key sporting programs. Sports include RowingAthleticsHockey, Cycling, Canoe Slalom, Sailing, and Netball.

The Tasmanian Institute of Individual Scholarship Program has five levels of Individual Scholarship. These are Podium, Podium Potential, International Class, Developing International and Emerging International. These scholarships are provided to athletes from sports in which a small number of athletes are performing at the required level in the sport, or where the sport does not have the infrastructure to provide a coach/coordinator and other support services necessary for an Elite Development Program (EDP) or National Training Centre (NTC) program.

  • National Representative Fund

The covers the additional cost to Tasmanian Athletes and Coaches competing at a Junior or Open Competition level. Costs are for travel with an international team competing overseas, up to a maximum of $500 per year.

Northern Territory

  • Sport Voucher Scheme

The Sport Voucher Scheme is available to every school-enrolled child from preschool to year 12 and includes home-schooled children. They can receive two $100 sports vouchers each year.  If eligible, you will receive one in January and one in July, for sport, recreation, and cultural activities.

  • Learn to Swim vouchers

You can apply for learn to swim vouchers under the Learn to Swim Voucher Program if your child is under five years old and not enrolled in preschool or school. Your child can receive two $100 Learn to Swim vouchers each year as part of the program.

  • Northern Territory Institute of Sport (NTIS)

The Northern Territory Institute of Sport Athlete Scholarships NTIS Sport Programs currently includes Cricket, Rugby League, Netball, Hockey, Basketball, Squash, Swimming, Football, Triathlon, and Golf. There are five scholarship categories: Podium, Podium Potential, International Class, Developing International and Emerging International.

The Northern Territory Institute of Sport Individual Athlete Scholarships (IAS) are available to athletes to where the NTIS does not currently have a Sport Program for their sport. You can find the application forms on the website.

Local government

You can check out grant funding from local councils. Some also have smaller grants available to support young athletes.

Have you had any success with government grants? 

Happy grant writing and good luck!


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