A number of years ago Sport Northland partnered up with the Northland Community Foundation to establish a Northland sports endowment 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. Its aim is to provide 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 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 and then distributes them back into our community.

Sport Northland believes that involvement in active recreation and sport leads to a better life – whether that is through participating, officiating, coaching, instructing, administrating or other volunteering - active recreation and sport offers so much and has a unique capacity to bring people from all walks of life together.

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Sport Northland already has nearly $250,000 of investment funding in place in the sports endowment fund.

The late Northern Advocate sports editor Garry Frew (centre right), seen here at a work function. Photo / File
The late Northern Advocate sports editor Garry Frew (centre right), seen here at a work function. Photo / File

This includes funding from the late Garry Frew's estate (Garry was Advocate sports editor and a Northland Legend of Sport), with a specific purpose that this will help support young Northland sportspeople reach their sporting goals through monetary grants and support services from the Northland Sports Talent Hub.

Maybe you have gained benefits from active recreation and sport during your life, or maybe you are seeing those benefits for your children or grandchildren. Either way, you have a unique opportunity to support active recreation and sport in Northland now and in the future.

One Northlander who has recently given a legacy to his many passions is Whangārei man, Gareth Foster.

He has identified a number of causes close to his heart, and so after naturally having chosen to look after family and friends first, Foster has decided to leave the residual of his estate to sport, opera and education.

He has always loved sport, particularly athletics and swimming, and has had family who have represented New Zealand at the Olympics in equestrian, winning medals for our country.

He has seen the opportunities that investment in youth can bring to young talent, so his gift to the sporting community will see the proceeds from his bequest go directly to talented young Northlanders in the sports of athletics, swimming and equestrian.

His gift will be invested with the Northland Community Foundation under the name of the Gareth Foster Sport Endowment Fund, and will live on forever, with the capital remaining intact and only the income distributed to benefit young Northland sportspeople.

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"Giving makes me feel good," Foster said.

"It's great to give something back to the community I have lived in and loved my whole life".

To find out more about contributing to the Northland sport endowment fund, you can contact Northland Community Foundation manager Greta Buchanan on 021 558 224 or visit its website www.northlandcommunityfoundation.org.nz.