‘They are the heartbeat of our community and we need to keep them alive’

Community clubs and groups play an important role in building stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities. They offer a diverse range of activities and services for local children through to centenarians – from school breakfasts, library loan assistance and indigenous support groups which help those in need, to sporting clubs (such as nippers and little athletics) – which are the places where children find their passion, refine their skills, stay healthy and potentially develop into sporting stars of the future.

As funding becomes ever more scarce for community clubs and organisations, keeping these clubs and groups alive should be a top priority for our community. And this is just what Wonthaggi local Deb Reilly has been doing, through the Keeping Kids on Track fun run event.

For many years Deb has been committed to connecting communities, uniting clubs and supporting our youth and in 2012 the Keeping Kids on Track fun run event was born. It has  since contributed tens of thousands of dollars to  supporting a number of community services and clubs across the Bass Coast region, with funding specifically channelled into promoting youth development within these groups, also developing scholarships for youth transitioning into senior school and beyond.

The Keeping Kids on Track fun run – on 17 March 2019 –  was created to promote participation and unity within the clubs and groups of the Bass Coast Shire.” Said Reilly.

“Thanks to the support of over 20 local clubs and groups and hundreds of community members, we have helped raise funds which ultimately help to support our youth in sport, education and recreation.”

Having grown significantly from the 150 runners at the inaugural event in 2012, this year Keeping Kids on Track is expected to attract over 600 runners across a range of distances from 3km up to a half marathon, all which start and finish at the picturesque beachside town of Kilcunda.

“The routes are pretty special, showcasing the spectacular Bass Coast rail trail; All distances (21.1km Run, 15km Run, 10km Run, 5km run and the 3 km family walk) boast breath-taking views of Bass Strait, the unique rugged coastline and the country side farmlands.”

The event attracts runners and walkers with various levels of abilities, from kids, mums, dads and babies in pushers to those making healthy life changes and elite athletes.

Since 2012 beneficiaries have included Wonthaggi Specialist School, Wonthaggi Library Loan Scheme, Wonthaggi Little Athletics, Local Nippers Surf Lifesaving programs (Wonthaggi, Cape Paterson and Inverloch Surf Life Saving clubs), Wonthaggi Basketball Association, Inverloch Wind Surfing Club, Wonthaggi Underwater Hockey Club, Local Football and Netball clubs (Wonthaggi, Dalyston and Kilcunda-Bass), Wonthaggi SES, The Bass Coast Board Riders, Wonthaggi Boxing Club, Kipp McGrath, Wonthaggi Secondary School, Wonthaggi an District Netball Association, Bunurong Indigenous Group, Soccer Clubs (Wonthaggi and Inverloch), Powlett River Primary School Breakky Scheme, The Kongor School Support Group.  

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