Programme resounding success'


KiwiSport

More than $170,000 has been channelled into Wairarapa community groups, schools and sporting organisations through KiwiSport during the past three years.

The grants provided through KiwiSport have enabled more than 10,000 schoolchildren from 22 primary schools and eight secondary schools the opportunity to participate in sporting activities.

Sport Wellington's chief executive Phil Gibbons says KiwiSport has been a resounding success in Wairarapa with 98 per cent of the schools receiving KiwiSport-funded programmes.

"We look forward to the next three years where we can consolidate these opportunities at the grassroots and developmental levels," Gibbons said. "Playing regular sport gives children a wide range of benefits which indirectly impact the community as a whole."

KiwiSport's most significant investment in the area has been the appointment of a Masterton primary school sports cluster co-ordinator, which has seen a substantial increase in student participation.

The aim of this investment is to provide the Masterton cluster with consistent, high quality school sports, sport specific professional development for teachers and to foster community partnerships to strengthen the delivery of sport in schools.

Another KiwiSport programme has been the delivery of Small Sticks hockey in schools by Wairarapa Hockey. So far, more than 500 children from four primary schools have received the programme. Wairarapa Hockey anticipates delivering Small Sticks to 1600 students over the next two years.

Sport Wellington's KiwiSport manager Peter Woodman-Aldridge said community consultation last year to assess the validity of the KiwiSport funding project found the programmes were having a significant impact on the region.

"More school-age kids are being involved in sports. More teachers and parents are trained as coaches and more community and sporting organisations are partnering with schools to provide sporting opportunities and activities. This has been fantastic for the children involved and the community as a whole," he said.

Applications for round 10 of KiwiSport funding in the Wellington region close on Monday, March 18. Potential applicants should visit www.sportwellington.org.nz/kiwisport.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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