Kids' sports get $750k backing

Sport Bay of Plenty has allocated $725,000 in grants to clubs, schools and sporting organisations throughout the region from the KiwiSport Regional Partnership Fund.

Kiwisport is a government funding initiative to promote sport for school-aged children that began in August 2009 and will continue until 2015. The Regional Partnership Fund (RPF) is co-ordinated by Sport Bay of Plenty for use in Bay of Plenty communities on behalf of Sport NZ. The allocation is calculated on a per-capita basis based on the number of students in each region.

The Regional Partnership Fund has three specific purposes.

It aims to increase the number of school-aged children participating in organised sport at school and by strengthening links with sports clubs for all school-aged children, and to support children in developing skills that will enable them to participate effectively in organised sport.

Major projects include the Tauranga Hockey Association, Pongakawa School and Waikato Bay of Plenty Football.

Tauranga Hockey Association has received $75,000 over a period of three years to deliver a range of programmes to school-aged children 5-13 years of age through a cluster system.

After a successful pilot in 2011/2012, the association will now further develop its programmes.

Pongakawa School received $10,000 to go towards the purchase of equipment to fit out a new indoor facility TECT Pongakawa - The Action Centre, currently under construction and will be a great asset to the wider community.

Futsal is coming to the Bay of Plenty region with the assistance of KiwiSport funding. Waikato Bay of Plenty Football has received $30,000 to provide opportunities for school-aged children to participate in Futsal, which is the only Fifa and NZ Football-approved version of five-a-side football and the world's fastest growing indoor sport.

A number of KickStart Projects are included in the funding round.

Bay of Plenty Wheelchair Rugby received funding to go towards the repair of their equipment also to reduce costs for their members to participate. Te Puke Gymnastics had a growing membership and had an urgent need for more equipment to accommodate the growth. Riding for the Disabled can now offer basic riding lessons to their members at a reduced cost with Kiwisport funding.

Sport manager Megan Cleverley is delighted to be able to support so many initiatives.

"It is great to be able to co-ordinate this amount of investment into the Bay of Plenty Sporting community," said Cleverley. "Sport Bay of Plenty does not receive any administration costs to cover the co-ordination of the fund, however we view it as an important service to our sports community and have guaranteed to provide this service at no cost to the fund." The next funding round will be held in September with applications opening in August.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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