The State Government has injected $642,000 into the continued development of sport and recreation in regional areas. Seventy regional sporting organisations will benefit from the money. The Department of Sport and Recreation has devised a three year structured funding plan to encourage long term future development. Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron said regional sporting centres know exactly what challenges they face. The Pony Club Association of Western Australia Great Southern Zone will benefit from the funding. Last year the Pony Club Association of Western Australia (PCAWA) Dressage State Championships were cancelled due to flooding at the grounds of the State Equestrian Centre. At this year’s PCAWA State Show Jumping Championships several of the arenas were also badly flooded. “It was bordering on dangerous,” said Danika Harrison, a volunteer coach at Albany Pony Club. “Our biggest challenge is lack of funding,” said Jess Cappendell from PCAWA. The funding is to assist with training and retaining volunteers, coaches, and officials. “It’s hard to find volunteers but when you compete you often must supply a volunteer or your rider will be eliminated,” said Danika Harrison. “There are some Pony Club members which go above and beyond… without these people the riders would not have the opportunities to further their riding and make future Olympic riders represent our country.” In July it was announced that $7.2 million in funding from the state government’s Organisational Sustainability Program for 47 state sporting associations is planned and will go towards developing sport and recreation from the grassroots to the elite levels over a three year period.