Thirteen of Northland's sporting codes will gather tomorrow for a workshop aiming to enhance their sustainability and their long-term financial stability.
Over 70 representatives from the region's rugby, rugby league, football, golf, netball, cricket, swimming, equestrian, gymnastics, squash, touch, Parafed and swords sports communities will congregate at The Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell for the first in a series of funding workshops to he held around the region.
The event is not open to the public.
Tomorrow would feature an in-depth selection of funders from local and central agencies, including NorthChamber, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's provincial development unit, Pub Charities, Sport Northland and more.
The workshops were run by Rugby For Life, a community rugby partnership programme which used its relationship with the Northland Rugby Union to help improve the lives of all Northlanders and their communities.
"We want to focus on empowering our community volunteers by inspiring them to think about growing their clubs and codes," Rugby for Life project co-ordinator Sharon Gibson said.
"For that to happen, there needs to be innovative thinking, a more strategic outlook and forward planning so they can be preparing well ahead of time to secure funding."
During the Covid-19 lockdown, gambling machines were unable to be used which froze many codes' primary source of funding from entities such as the Oxford Charitable Sports Trust.
Gibson said this indicated a lack of funding source diversification and she believed all codes could become more sustainable and robust community assets.
"Sometimes that requires the volunteers running these clubs and assets to shift their thinking slightly and increasingly treat them as businesses by planning ahead with budgets and working out when funding will be required for what purposes.
"That way, the volunteers maximise their time and efforts and get better results."
Gibson said sports clubs could look at different uses of their facilities as a way to increase revenue. She cited one example where one club planned to use their facility as a childhood centre.
Gibson welcomed any codes to get involved in future workshops by contacting Rugby For Life through its website - rugbyforlife.org.nz.