Students from several Taranaki high schools will soon benefit from a share of more than $400,000 of sports funding, thanks to a new sponsorship initiative from one of Aotearoa's major design and construction companies, Apollo Projects.
The company, which is building the new Stratford aquatic facility, is sponsoring 13 schools across Taranaki, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay for two years in an effort to help more students play sport. As well as currently working on the construction of Stratford's new pool, Apollo Projects has been working in the region for a number of years at the Fonterra Whareroa site.
Apollo Projects co-director Craig Waghorn says his team are excited to be helping students get out and enjoy sport.
"At Apollo, we have always been passionate about sport and we know the difference it can make in young people's lives. It's a privilege to be able to support the communities we operate in, in such an impactful way."
Apollo Projects hopes to increase the level of sports funding it provides and extend the sponsorship to even more regions as it continues to grow.
The initiative has been made possible thanks to a partnership between Apollo Projects and NZ Sport Collective, led by former Olympic champion Rob Waddell. The NZ Sport Collective works with not for-profit organisations, schools and charities helping them achieve better funding outcomes.
Rob, who is managing the initiative, says, the funding will help tamariki.
"It's rewarding to see the funding going to schools where it will make the most difference for young people."
Craig says feedback so far has been incredibly positive.
"Schools have been delighted to receive the funding and have shared the impact it will have on participation levels, affordability and access to various events and tournaments."
To date, the sponsorships have already funded a wide range of needs, including direct student funding through athlete scholarships, school sport uniforms and equipment, transportation, and other associated costs.
Rachel Williams, principal of Hawera High School, says the funding helps improve the overall wellbeing of their students.
"Financial support for our struggling families is fantastic and introducing new games and sports at lunchtimes is our way of engaging with a diverse range of students to create a healthier wellbeing."
Disclaimer: Editor Ilona Hanne is married to the CEO of Stratford District Council