Opportunities aplenty from NSW Government funding

Food lovers and basketballers are the winners from the latest two NSW Government grants to come Richmond Valley Council’s way.

Council was successful under the Youth Opportunities program to stage a youth-driven community event at the Casino Showground in September, and also received financial assistance to support a basketball development program at the Casino Indoor Sports Stadium.

Making the announcement today, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis said the $17,500 Youth Opportunities project would connect young people to the community.

Mr Gulaptis said the Cow Town Chow Down Festival was where young people’s love for food would mix with arts, culture and music.

He said he was confident local young people would develop a range of skills from the festival.

“Youth Opportunities empowers young people to make new social connections, undertake new activities and give back to the community,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“The Casino Showground will come alive with market stalls, cooking demonstrations and live music showcasing what young people in the Richmond Valley have to offer.”

The festival will include numerous activities for young people, such as:

  • Market stalls – fresh local produce, food and craft will be available to purchase.
  • School hospitality demonstrations and bake off – hospitality students from local schools will perform ‘how to’ demonstrations focused on local produce. There will also be a bake-off with students submitting tasters at the festival.
  • Busking competition – young people studying, or with an interest in, music can enter the busking competition at the festival, which will double as the day’s entertainment.
  • Foodie films – prior to the festival, film workshops will be conducted for 12-25 year-olds to create food-themed films. A selection of the best films will be showcased at the festival.

The festival will be a waste-wise event, with vendors and participants encouraged to choose environmentally sustainable products such as using biodegradable plates and cups. An informational market stall will also be hosted by North East Waste.

Richmond Valley Mayor Robert Mustow welcomed the Youth Opportunities funding, saying it would complement the many programs Council already offered to local young people, such as the popular Youth Employment Strategy and Try-a-Trade program.

“Providing opportunities for our young people to learn the skills which will equip them for the future is important not only for them, but also for the future wellbeing of our community,” Cr Mustow said.

Council also received $7440 to host a 12-week basketball development program at the Casino Indoor Sports Stadium. The funding will go towards coaching and development, uniforms, referees and equipment, as well as marketing.

The Sports Stadium is one of the Richmond Valley’s popular community venues. The number of people who have involved themselves in activities has increased volumes over the past four years. Located on Colley Park, the complex is an important piece of community infrastructure, attracting around 700 participants and more than 300 spectators a week, with these numbers increasing every month.

Cr Mustow said being able to offer affordable social and sporting activities to all residents was the reasoning behind the decision to build a new sports stadium.

“This is an outstanding venue which offers excellent opportunities for everyone from kids to seniors,” he said.

“It is great for the people of the Richmond Valley, and sport generally.”

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