Page MP Janelle Saffin today congratulated the final seven individual recipients of the Federal Government’s Local Sporting Champions grants program for 2008-09.

Ms Saffin said the region’s young champions each would receive $500 towards the costs of participating at major competitions in their chosen sports.

They include Wollongbar water polo player Phoebe Stork, Coraki hockey player Cameron Britt, Caniaba baseballer Daniel Muggleton and sailor/yachtsman Sam McPherson, from Swan Bay.

Other recipients are Grafton kart driver Lachlan O’Reilly, Yamba dragon boat rower Molly Webster, and Iluka netballer Jamayka Makings.

Ms Saffin thanked her expert judging panel of SBS football commentator Craig Foster, Olympic silver medal-winning kayaker Jacqui Lawrence and ABC Local Radio sports commentator Dr Dave Arthur for narrowing down a strong field of applicants.

This was the third and final found of the inaugural Local Sporting Champions program.

Ms Saffin said the program was growing in popularity, and applications already are being received from individuals and teams for Round One of the 2009-10 funding cycle.

The Local Sporting Champions program provides financial assistance for emerging sports stars towards the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment when competing at an official national sporting organisation (NSO) endorsed state or national competition.

More information is available at www.ausport.gov.au/champions