Sport New Zealand has provided a financial shot in the arm for clubs and regional organisations struggling to survive through the coronavirus pandemic.
The organisation has created a $25 million short-term relief package, with a $15 million community resilience fund established so hard-hit clubs can receive up to $1000, and regional bodies $40,000.
Sport NZ CEO Peter Miskimmin says applications can be put forward by those attached to National Sporting Organisations from Monday, on the basis of financial hardship.
"We've been really concerned those that have been hit the hardest right now are our clubs and regions," he told NZME.
"They are materially hit by disruption of membership revenue and also pokie money. That's $170 million a year, so that's $14-15 million a month that usually goes out to clubs and regions.
"Most of those clubs are being managed by volunteers and people have day jobs and issues with their own family situation and are doing it tough.
"Hopefully that will help see them through the next short period and they can keep their heads above water and be in a really good position when we get back to lower alert levels and sport can start being played again."
Applications can be made through the regional sports trust network.
"There are 14 regional sports trusts. They understand the community both through recreation and sport and it's through their website where people will be able to access the application forms and criteria. For example, if you're a club in Christchurch, you'll get hold of that through Sport Canterbury."
Sport NZ hopes the package can reinstill a sense of physical freedom for New Zealanders who have struggled with Covid-19 restrictions.
The remaining $10 million will be spread amongst three different fund initiatives.
"One is a partner support fund," Miskimmin explains, which will total $6 million.
"Many of our national support partners who provide the leadership that we need are having difficulties financially, irrespective of the money we've already confirmed to them. So the opportunity for them to be able to access some further support there.
"We've also got a physical activity activation fund," Miskimmin said.
"We are really concerned about levels of physical activity during lockdown. Not so much for adults, strangely enough, because they've probably got a lot of their walking and running and cycling, but out teenagers and kids where that sort of stuff may not be as exciting for them. They're social beasts, they want to play with their friends and they want to do more challenging sports or activities than that. So we really need to think about how we activate them. There's about $3 million set aside for that.
"The last one is an exceptions fund, which is for organisations that don't normally get funding from us. They have an opportunity to apply to that."
The announcement follows an initial package of support for Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ partners announced in early April.
This provided financial certainty for national sport and recreation organisations, regional sport trusts and others, with funding commitments totalling $70 million per annum.
Partners were provided with flexibility on how these funds could be used through until 30 June 2021, to reflect the challenging circumstances resulting from Covid-19.