Fresh from his team’s State of Origin series victory, Maroons skipper Cameron Smith is urging local sporting clubs to apply for a share of $250,000 in grants thanks to the Holden Home Ground Advantage program.

Smith rates his experience as a junior at the Logan Brothers Rugby League club in Logan City as fundamental to his career success – noting the importance of grassroots clubs in developing happy, healthy kids.

“The lessons you learn as a junior at your local sporting club can really shape how you develop as a player and a person,” said the Storm’s all-time leading points scorer and game record holder.

“Getting kids involved in grassroots sport helps them learn skills – but more importantly teamwork, discipline and respect,” Smith said.

An NRL development officer hard at work with the kids from Valleys.

Valleys benefits

Just last week, Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley Rugby League Football Club was presented with a cheque for $10,000, which they will use to provide new spectator seating.

Maroons great Darren Lockyer came along to meet the kids at the club to help celebrate and to run a rugby league clinic.

The Holden Home Ground Advantage program was launched in 2014 in recognition of the important role that community sport plays in Australia.

The program supports and nurtures clubs of all codes with grants totalling $250,000 available twice each year.

Men of League's Frank Barrett wrangles the crowd during a Q&A with Darren Lockyer.

Helping hand

Holden’s executive director marketing, Geraldine Davys said local sporting clubs were the proving ground for many of Australia’s sporting greats, but not all had the financial resources to develop and support aspiring talent and kids just wanting to have a go.

“For every sportsperson who goes on to play at an elite level, there are thousands more who simply participate for the love of it,” Ms Davys said.

“Not all kids have the opportunity to play local club sport – often due to the cost of getting involved.

“Through the Holden Home Ground Advantage program, we aim to remove some of the financial pressure for clubs enabling them to keep registration fees affordable as well as providing adequate equipment and facilities for their members and their community.”

Applications are now open for the winter round of grants and sporting clubs of all codes are encouraged to apply.  Applications close August 31.

Visit www.holden.com.au/homegroundadvantage for more information.