Official Media Release

Upper Hunter To Share In $1.2 Million Sports Fund To Tackle Rural Mental Health

Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter, is urging sporting clubs in the Upper Hunter electorate, wanting to improve mental health and wellbeing in drought-stricken areas, to contact their state body and encourage them to apply for a share of a new $1.2 million Mental Health Sports Fund.

“Sport is a great way to unwind, to get out of the house and catch up with your mates. Our sporting clubs and organisations have strong ties within our community, and they act as a point of focus for families, friends and neighbours,” Mr. Johnsen said.

“That’s why the Nationals in Government have launched this fund, to create an opportunity for sports organisations to support the drought effort and help build resilience in rural communities.”

The fund was launched off the back of the highly successful 2018 “Baggy Blues” regional Cricket tour- which harnessed a love of cricket in rural communities to have conversations of the importance of mental health. The Baggy Blues will tour new locations next year, starting in Inverell in January and Tamworth in February.

“We are hoping a diverse range of sporting codes will apply to promote mental health, and start important conversations in regional areas battling this tough drought.

“NSW sporting bodies could apply for funding to expand an existing program, team-up with a mental health service provider on a new program or support their local member clubs to run community wellbeing events,” Mr. Johnsen said.

For further information and how to apply please visit the Office of Sport NSW website:

Anyone requiring drought assistance is encouraged to visit the NSW DroughtHub website:

MEDIA: 0265431065