Sport Northland recently announced the granting of funding to talented young Northland sportspeople through the Kauri Club, part of the wider Educare Northland Sports Talent Hub.

Over $11,000 was given in scholarships ($2000 each) and grants ($150-$500 each) to 18 athletes from 13 different sports codes to assist them to reach their sporting goals.

Read more: Athletes win inaugural Sport Northland Kauri Club scholarships

Riley-Jack Vette-Blomquist (squash), Tarquala Whittaker-Stone (volleyball) and Daniel Meyer (para athletics) were each awarded a scholarship which will support them over the next 12 months to attend national championships and to represent NZ in their chosen sports.

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Another round of grant funding will occur in April next year, resulting in over $17,000 of funding being distributed to talented young Northland sportspeople in 2019/20.

Sport Northland is only able to achieve this level of funding through sponsorship (from local company Educare), profits from Club Northland events (a joint initiative of Alzheimers Northland and Sport Northland), as well as through the annual income/yield from the $250,000 of Sport Northland capital that is invested through the Northland Community Foundation for this purpose.

Sport Northland chief executive Brent Eastwood's own contribution to the Kauri Club fund is helping the next generation of sporting stars in the region. Photo / File
Sport Northland chief executive Brent Eastwood's own contribution to the Kauri Club fund is helping the next generation of sporting stars in the region. Photo / File

A number of years ago, Sport Northland partnered up with the Northland Community Foundation to establish the Northland Sports Fund (and under the umbrella of this fund the Kauri Club Fund), with the aim of creating a lasting legacy for sport across the region.

The Northland Community Foundation is one of 14 community foundations throughout NZ and has an aim of providing a simple, effective, long-lasting way for individuals, families and organisations to leave legacies or create funds to support local causes, and to ensure these gifts will achieve maximum and enduring benefits for our community.

The Northland Community Foundation is unique in that it is the only organisation that seeks legacies and gifts from throughout the Northland region, invests those gifts in perpetuity through a partnership with Craigs Investments, and then distributes the income back into our community.

The more we can grow the $250,000 that already exists in the Kauri Club Fund, the more funding will be available to grant to our promising Northland athletes.

The recent story in the Advocate about my own bequest of $25,000 is an example of that – once this bequest is realised, it will be added to the fund and more money will be able to be given back to our athletes.

Maybe your own children or grandchildren have achieved in sport – or maybe they are aspiring to in the future. Either way you have a unique opportunity to support them and other young Northland athletes now and in the future.

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This can be in the form of a bequest (a promise of future money) or alternatively through "living giving" (one-off lump sum gifts or through payroll giving, like for example many Sport Northland employees are now doing).

To find out more about contributing to the Northland Sports Fund, you can contact Greta Buchanan, Manager of the Northland Community Foundation on 021 558 224 or visit their website www.northlandcommunityfoundation.org.nz for more information.

After all, these young athletes are the future of Northland sport, which we need to keep strong.