The following was written by Anthony Geppa and Andrea Johnston, and published in the Centralian Advocate on 13/12/16.
A NEW storage facility at Ross Park and a two-seat training glider highlight a round of Facility and Capital Equipment grants given to Alice Springs sport and active recreation organisations announced this week.
The NT Government announced they will contribute $276,900 to the Alice Springs Town Council, the Alice Springs Gliding Club, the Australian Bowhunters Association and Girl Guides NT for a range of separate projects.
ASTC will erect a storage shed at Ross Park to be shared among the council, cricket and soccer while the Bowhunters Association will replace its 20-year-old solar system and the Girl Guides will refurbish external areas of their hall.
The Gliding Club will put their share of the funding towards a new two-seat training glider with club (chief flying instructor Robert Smits saying the news was a huge boost for the sport in the Red Centre.
“It will help us to purchase a long-awaited new modern two-seat training glider because at the moment we’re operating on quite old-fashioned equipment,” Smits said.
The club will look at purchasing a German-designed fully aerobatic ASK-21, which Mr Smits said would offer new dimensions to the club’s offering. Mr Smits thanked the NT Government and previous governments for their “crucial” support, without which the club couldn’t operate.
“It will be easier to fly so people will go solo quicker and it will really put the club in a good position for the future,” he said.
“It brings another thing you can do in Alice Springs. It’s an affordable form of aviation, plus it’s a form of aviation that everybody can do from young to old.”
Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss said the grants would allow the Alice Springs based organisations to improve their everyday operations.
“I’m thrilled about the four Alice Springs FACE grants and look forward to making further announcements in the coming days,” she said.
“Sport and active recreation activities are extremely important in the Northern Territory and they need continued support to grow.
“They provide fun, healthy competition and encourage participation from children to adults.
“I hope the FACE grants assist with the day-to-day running of each organisation or facility.”
The 2017/18 Facility and Capital Equipment grant program will open for applications in July 2017.
Aviation news from Central Australia, written or collated by Andrea Johnston, journalist with the Centralian Advocate (News Corp) and secretary of Alice Springs Gliding Club.