When most Australians think of regional sport, chances are gymnastics doesn't naturally spring to mind. 

However, in the dusty mining town of Karratha on the edge of Western Australia's Pilbara region, the sport is attracting kids of all ages and making a difference in their lives. 

And a Ventia community grant is helping the not-for-profit Karratha Gymnastics Club (KGC) replace critical equipment so they can keep making a difference in the lives of children in the region. 


Upgrading equipment for Pilbara Regional Challenge

The new equipment was critical in securing for KGC the honour of hosting Gymnastics WA's Pilbara Regional Challenge in July. 

KGC is the largest gymnastics club in the State's northwest with more than 400 members aged from just 9 months to 18 years, including a large cohort of Indigenous youth. 

Club President Angela Ballantyne said the fast-growing sport of gymnastics supported kids' physical, cognitive and social development and provided valuable skills applicable to other sports and general life. 

It provides a physical activity that allows kids to develop different abilities to those nurtured by traditional team sports that are so often the only option in country towns. 

"However, due to the nature of the equipment and training required, it's one of the more expensive sports. 

"We require accredited, paid coaches to ensure participant safety, and highly specialised apparatus which must meet safety standards and be able to survive hundreds of hours of training each month. 

"The funding provided by Ventia will allow us to replace the vault strip, a 25-metre mat our gymnasts run along on their approach to the apparatus. 

"Our current strip has been in use for at least 15 years and is beginning to disintegrate, creating a safety risk for competitors and impacting on their performance." 


Ventia's Group Manager - Sustainability Alex Monson said KGC's funding exemplified the diversity of ways in which community grants make a difference. 

We're very pleased that this grant corresponded to a number of Ventia's core values, notably safety, wellness, and inclusion - gymnastics is an inclusive sport that welcomes all


Applications for our 2023 program will open on 1 June and close 31 July.

For more ifnromation or to apply for a grant, visit the Community Grants page