Home » Forest Lake Markets help kids access sport

Forest Lake Markets help kids access sport

Nate Priebbenow    May 30, 2024    3 min read   

The much-loved Forest Lake Market event, held on the second Friday of every month, helped more than 50 local children play rugby for free last year.

Forest Lake markets president Veronica Stickley said the event supported local businesses while also helping to support the Forest Lake Junior Rugby Club.

“Volunteers from the Forest Lake Junior Rugby Union Club run the markets, and all the money which we raise goes to the club,” Veronica said.

“In 2023, all the funds paid for over 50 kids to play rugby completely for free, from our Little Stingers in under 5’s to our under 9’s.

“Last year was the Rugby Club’s first season back after COVID, and thanks to the markets, kids can now get their fees subsidized for the first time.”

Forest Lake Junior Rugby Club photos taken by author on May 11 2024.

With the markets partially covering all 50 junior sign-up fees in 2024, Veronica believes that the subsidization from the markets is important considering the current cost of living.

“Thanks to the markets covering club fees, the $140 season fees this season are just to cover the Australian Rugby League levy and insurance,” she said.

“The club doesn’t take any profit from sign-on fees; instead, funds from the Markets pay for rent, electricity and water for the clubhouse and fields.

“We lease the venue from the council, maintain the clubhouse and the fields, and are able to loan it out to other sport competitions during the week.

“This year we are using the funds to buy a new ride-on mower to maintain the playing fields.”

Veronica said the community market event has doubled in size, expanding from 30 stalls to 60 stalls since its inception in October 2022.

“Forest Lake has always supported great local markets, but after Covid, there were no local markets,” she said.

“The markets have now been operating since October 2022 and are continuing to grow.

“Originally, we had around 30 stalls and four food trucks, and now we have 60 plus stalls and 11 food trucks.”

The food trucks rotate each month, offering a variety of international cuisines such as French crepes, Japanese karaage chicken, Latino Fusion and Benz on Miller burgers.

“We also have other various activities each month like a petting zoo or jumping castle or free raffles,” Veronica said.

“Families can bring a picnic rug and have a great night out in the local community.”

With attractions for children to participate in and a dog-friendly policy, everyone is welcome. Other features include sit-down eating, lawn games and live music for the crowd to enjoy.

The markets run from 5pm – 8pm on the second Friday of every month at the Forest Lake Rugby Club.

To apply for a stall, email markets.forestlakewasps@gmail.com.

Market photos from Friday March 8. Supplied by Veronica Stickley.

Nate Priebbenow