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City backs regional strategy for sport

7 March 2005

City backs regional strategy for sport and recreation

Auckland City says a greater regional commitment is needed to overcome declining health and participation in sports.

The Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee last week commented on a draft Auckland Regional Sport and Recreation strategy. The strategy is a response to a challenge issued by Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) for the Auckland region to establish greater coordination and collaboration in the provision of sport and recreation.

A project team has identified the need for more effective regional cooperation and collaboration in the planning and providing of sport and recreation to address the issues facing the region, reduce fragmentation of effort and better utilise resources.

Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee chairperson, Councillor Penny Sefuvia, says regional bodies must all commit to the strategy if the region is to reverse the negative trends it is currently facing in the area of sport and recreation.

“Although the Auckland region has an abundance of recreation and sporting opportunities, our participation is declining, health issues resulting from a lack of physical activity are rising and there are gaps and duplication in delivery across the region. The only way communities can benefit is if sports trusts, education providers and local authorities combine their efforts and join forces,” she says.

The Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee agreed that the strategy is a positive step for the region, and will be preparing a submission to detail the additional things they would like to see in the final version.

In their submission, the Arts Culture and Recreation Committee will be suggesting that the strategy also include:

a strong statement about the role of schools as the first point in teaching and modelling recreation participation at an early age the need for additional funding for sport in the Auckland region given the rapid growth and demographic make up of the region the need to be aware of and respond to changing patterns of demand for recreation and sporting activities and facilities including those with greater ethnic diversity in the region.

“In our submission we will be stressing the importance of a strong representation from the education sector in the strategy development. There needs to be a balance between intellectual and sporting opportunities in the education curriculum to ease the pressure on local body sports grounds and recreation facilities,” says Mrs Sefuiva.

SPARC has announced that it is prepared to commit $1 million to the implementation of the strategy over the next five years providing that the funding is matched by the region. Based on the regional formula, Auckland City Council would contribute $42,926 a year over five years starting from 2005/2006.

ENDS


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