BOUNCING BACK: Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell were on hand at the announcement of a $15,000 grant to to help kick start a new basketball tournament at the Grafton Indoor Sports Centre.
BOUNCING BACK: Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell were on hand at the announcement of a $15,000 grant to to help kick start a new basketball tournament at the Grafton Indoor Sports Centre. Contributed

$15,000 grant helps basketball program rebound in Grafton

AT RISK youth in Grafton and South Grafton will have the chance to connect to local youth services thanks to a $15,000 NSW Government grant which will help kick-start a new basketball tournament to take place later this year.

The Rebound 2460 program will see local services sponsor teams in the basketball tournament, with volunteers from each service acting as coaches and assistants to the team.

Rebound 2460 committee chair Gary Martin said the program aims to build rapport with the services and youth, and help to break down the barriers in accessing youth services.

"Hopefully young people will get the message that the community does care about them and there are services for them,” he said.

The Rebound 2460 tournament will have six teams and each team will be sponsored by a local service, including ETC Employment, Headspace, New School of Arts, Gurehlgam Corporation, PCYC and Social Futures.

"The team shirts and colours will be the same as that of the services, and we are encouraging people that work in those services to volunteer and coaches and assistants to build rapport with the youth and make them feel comfortable to reach out and engage with the services over time,” Mr Martin said.

"This is a local program that's been developed locally and supported locally and really fits in with the needs of the local young people.”

The competition will be held at Grafton Indoor Sports Centre, the home of the new $5 million state-of-the-art PCYC announced last year, and is set to tip-off from May 10 this year.

Announcing the funding grant today, Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said the Rebound 2460 program was a positive for the Clarence Valley community.

"This is a terrific grassroots driven program where each team is not only named after a particular support service, but the volunteer coach actually works in the service,” Mr Gulaptis said.

"This structure allows young people to feel more comfortable in reaching out as rapport has been developed during game time.

"Sport is a wonderful conduit for improving young lives and building a strong community and this grant will help kick start this project and influence young lives in a positive way.”

Mr Gulaptis was joined by Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell, who congratulated Mr Gulaptis for his hard work in ensuring this funding flowed to a really worthy cause.

"This is great news for local kids, and great news for the Clarence Valley. The NSW Government is backing local communities and supporting families to access more sporting opportunities through vital grants like this, but also through the successful 'Active Kids' program which has seen more than 550 vouchers of $100 already provided in Grafton,” Ms Mitchell said.

Rebound 2460 is looking out for volunteers to help get the tournament up and running. If you're interested in lending a hand, contact Gary Martin on 0413269180.



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Heading home via ferry this afternoon? Think again.

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The ferry will be out of service due to adverse weather conditions