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Small sports get new home in Hub

Sports Minister Andrew Barr has launched the Small Sports Business Hub, an initiative to assist fledgling sports with their administration.

The ACT Government contributed $65,000 to ACTSPORT to open the Hub at Sports House in Hackett. The associations for fencing, ice hockey, ultimate frisbee and dragon boats will now reside at Sports House.

The aim is to provide space to work from and shared resources to help smaller sports grow.

''The idea of Sports House was to bring sport from around the kitchen table and to professionalise it,'' ACTSPORT president Jim Roberts said, noting netball and soccer had once been based at Sports House.

Canberra Dragon Boat Association secretary Gillian Styles said the space and resources at Sports House will help to run the National Championships that last year had more than 70 crews and 2000 competitors.

''We had a committee of volunteers and we ran it as best we could,'' she said of the event organised from her house and the yacht club. ''This will be tremendous support for things like that.''


It is exactly the kind of support the Sports Hub can offer, Roberts said.

''When you're running a big event and you need help - walk down [the hall] to the office, you've got all the facilities there, the photocopier, the email, the media staff and say 'where do I go from here?' and I guarantee you within 10 minutes you'll have six people in here from different sports who have run big events who are helping you.''

For Canberra Ultimate Frisbee, the Small Sports Hub came at the perfect time. Their competition is at capacity and turning teams away, so they just took on their first paid employee, a part-time development officer, Mica Hartley to expand the competition.

''It's going to enable us to do all the things we don't have the volunteer power for,'' Hartley said.