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The South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) is pleased to announce property investment specialists OpenCorp as the first major partner of its new Community Fund.

Even though football is one of the most affordable sports to participate in throughout the country, the league’s new Community Fund aims to reduce and eliminate costs associated with operating a club and participation.

The fund is the first of its kind which will provide funding to each club, created to enable each child in the league to live a healthy lifestyle through the reduction of any barriers.

The league is currently working with government partners in rolling out the Healthy Club Canteens program and removed all junk-food sponsorship since early-2017.

The Community Fund is the league’s next stage in its strategic plan to assist clubs to be more viable and sustainable.

SMJFL Chief Executive Officer Sarah Loh said OpenCorp’s contribution will provide a solid foundation for the fund, which she hopes will expand to eliminate all expenses associated with participation in sport.

“We don’t want costs to be a barrier, so that’s why we have created this fund,” Ms Loh said.

“It’s about the kids,” she said.

The SMJFL welcomes OpenCorp as the major partner of the Community Fund, who have contributed $100,000 to kickstart the program.

OpenCorp Director Paul Stubbs said the company was impressed with the SMJFL’s initiative.

“We are impressed that a junior sporting league is pioneering this fund to remove financial barriers for participation,” Mr Stubbs said.

“The OpenCorp team is proud to be the first major partner and contribute significant funds to SMJFL’s Community Fund,” he said.

(L-R) OpenCorp co-founder Cam McLellan, SMJFL Chairman Lewis Bearman, OpenCorp Director Paul Stubbs, and Sales Development Executive Justin Ellis.

OpenCorp has been supporting local football clubs in the Monash and Whitehorse areas for the past five years, and Mr Stubbs said the OpenCorp team is looking forward to continuing their community support.

“The Community Fund is about the kids, families and local communities, and the OpenCorp team couldn’t miss the opportunity to get onboard,” he said.

“We look forward to seeing the outcome of the Community Fund, and we hope our contribution will alleviate the financial stress from families and local communities,” Mr Stubbs said.

The SMJFL is the largest independent sporting competition in Victoria and Australia with 11,361 players having registered in 2019.

The participation of the league crosses over Bayside, Glen Eira, Kingston, Monash, Port Philip and Stonnington City Councils, as well as Parks Victoria land, offering multiple communities the opportunity to play football.

Further details regarding the fund will be released to clubs in the coming weeks.