Sports clubs across the region are feeling the financial blow of Covid-19 as the grants and income from pokies dry up after the March lockdown. Waikato sports clubs have been able to continue playing some form of sport at alert level 2, but some teams are having weekends of no sport again as their opponents are within the Auckland borders, currently under lockdown.
It means another weekend of little income at club bars across the regions, as many still grapple with the effects of the first lockdown.
The New Zealand Community Trust, which award grantss to clubs with money from pokies, reopened applications for grants when New Zealand moved to alert level 1 two months ago.
Sports Waikato CEO Matthew Cooper said funding for clubs is an issue that needs to be addressed.
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He said the Government have rescue money to clubs after the first lockdown, which Sports Waikato managed. "We felt clubs came out of lockdown in okay shape - not great but okay - and I think we have to be really clear around what do we do going forward."
Cooper said there is too much of a reliance on pokies money and he does not feel that will be sustainable.
"But is it the most secure form of funding for club sports in the Waikato region. I think it is important for our club system to be innovative and we need to be sustainable and the only way we can do that is to collaborate."
He said he has "several ideas". "Do we think about hubbing? We are all quite siloed in our individual codes but take Claudelands Rovers at Galloway Park: can you stick another code like cricket within that club and have them work together under one model?
"Covid has opened up our eyes to do things differently."