Two donations from the local Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Gunnedah Provisioning Centre will help local sporting associations to better fund and develop pathways for aspiring junior players to reach the next level in their chosen sports.

The grants of $2500 each to Gunnedah and District Australian Football Club and Gunnedah Netball Association, were awarded through ARTC’s annual community giving campaign, which supports worthy causes within local regional community groups.

Gunnedah Netball Association will use the money to score new goal post pads as well as purchase additional playing equipment, while the Gunnedah and District Australian Football Club is aiming to develop pathways for aspiring juniors and encourage more girls to try Australian Rules football as a sport.

Gunnedah Netball Association president Sarah Waterhouse said the association is very appreciative of the funding from ARTC.

“As we are a solely volunteer association, sponsorship like this enables us to ensure we can provide up-to-date equipment for players to utilise throughout the season,” she said.

“We are honoured to have this ongoing support within the association.”

President of Gunnedah and District Australian Football Club, Andy Mack, said the generous sponsorship offer by ARTC towards the junior AFL football program is ‘an amazing gesture by the company and as a club we are so thankful to receive it’.

“We’ve built our junior program from the ground up,” he said.

“The grant will allow us to offer proper training equipment and resources for the Auskick program and helps massively toward subsidising junior registrations in the hope of attracting more junior participants to AFL.

“We can’t thank ARTC enough for its contribution towards our junior initiative – we feel incredibly humbled that a large organisation such as ARTC has acknowledged our program with such a charitable gesture.”

ARTC Hunter Valley group executive, Clinton Crump, said nearly all of the ARTC Hunter Valley team members live and work locally in communities right along the railway line from Newcastle to Muswellbrook, to Gunnedah, up to Moree and out to Dubbo and many are involved in junior sport by supporting their own kids or volunteering in administration and coaching roles.

“It is why our team cares a lot about the role our business plays in the regions in which we operate, and why we support local organisations and initiatives that help create a strong and vibrant community,” Mr Crump said. “We have a strong focus on empowering our people to connect with the local communities in which they live, work and visit. ARTC’s Gunnedah Provisioning Centre is proud to support worthy local initiatives and appreciate the time and effort these organisations put into running junior sports for local kids.

“If your community group or event would like to be considered as part of ARTC’s annual community giving campaign, please reach out.”

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