Eltham Netball Club can step onto the court with confidence this season after being awarded an ANZ Netball Grant.
ANZ gives netball clubs and teams throughout Aotearoa a chance to apply for a grant to help them advance their training and put their best foot forward on game day.
Club administrator Jennifer Loveridge applied for the grant to ensure the club had enough gear to support the overwhelming number of keen players.
"We had two very old balls with no grip on them. Having odd equipment doesn't make you want to go out and play your best. It was quite bad that we only had that and so many people turned up."
Jennifer says the gear grant, which includes training and match balls, spot markers, gear bag and all a team needs to keep training, will boost morale through the entire club.
"We'd never be able to afford this gear at the moment. It was a huge celebration when we found out that we received the grant."
Making club fees affordable for their members is a top priority for Jennifer, so raising membership fees to cover new gear wasn't an option.
"Having an affordable sport that is open to everyone is really important to us. A big part of our fundraising drive at the moment is to make it more affordable for our small community. Our goal for next year is to take on four teams."
With the gear grant easing financial pressure on the club, Jennifer says they can now focus on giving back to the community.
"Whenever the school has a disco, we help out or if people are holding functions we'll offer our services to help out. We've come from such a small community so it's important for us to help out."
Jennifer has grown the club with a "whānau focus". Her membership drive has been so successful that her last committee meeting totalled 60, a first for the small club.
"I'm pretty sure they heard about the food. I always cater the meetings, it's about giving out those whānau vibes. It's bring your kids and partners for a barbeque and bonding sessions. It's really family-orientated and inclusive."
ANZ is thrilled to be able to help Taranaki netballers lift their game with grants like new training gear and uniforms to help them achieve their aspirations as a team.
ANZ head of sponsorship Sue McGregor says ANZ is proud to be supporting netball from grassroots teams in Eltham right up to the ANZ Premiership and Silver Ferns.
"It's local clubs such as Eltham Netball Club that introduce our youngsters to netball and nurture their love for the game into the passion we see in our elite players today. We hope this grant helps keep the passion for netball alive in the community for many seasons to come."
To apply for an ANZ Netball Grant visit ANZcourtside.co.nz.