Sporting organisations across NSW can apply for grants to deliver mental health and wellbeing activities as part of a $2.8 million state government program.
NSW Minister for Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor, said clubs can apply for grants of up to $150,000 to deliver activities under the Mental Health Sports program until March 6, 2022.
"As part of our COVID-19 mental health recovery package, we're looking to our sporting clubs to inspire people to make their mental health and wellbeing a top priority in 2022," Mrs Taylor said.
"These grants are intended to take conversations about mental health out of the clinic and into the clubhouse.
"We want people talking about how they're going emotionally and mentally in a setting they are comfortable with."
Ms Taylor said as well as being a fun recreational activity, exercise can also act as a stress reliever.
"Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins, distract from daily worries and is a great way to meet new friends or catch up with old ones, making it a fantastic remedy for maintaining a healthy mind and lifestyle."
The NSW government said all sports bodies based in the state are encouraged to apply, with grants to be made available to clubs supporting both general populations and priority populations including Aboriginal, LGBTIQ+ and culturally and linguistically diverse people as well as people with coexisting mental health, alcohol or other drug issues.
NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the current program builds on the success of the $1.1 million Mental Health Sport Fund in 2019-20.
"After a very tough two years we want to see people kicking goals both on and off the field and these sporting grants are a great way to do just that," Mr Ayres said.
"Sporting clubs and associations are at the heart of local communities, helping to forge
strong community ties and a strong sense of place.
It makes sense they're our partners in getting the mental health of NSW back on track."
The $2.8 million NSW Mental Health Sports Fund forms part of the $130 million COVID 19 mental health recovery package announced by the NSW government in October 2021.
More information on grant applications and eligibility guidelines is available at the NSW government's eTendering website.