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New Zealand first for Sport Waikato and Wintec

Heads of Agreement signals ground breaking New Zealand first for Sport Waikato and Wintec

After many months of consultation and consideration, the country’s largest Regional Sports Trust has confirmed it will establish its base at the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) Avalon campus – a move which will set the scene for the next twenty years.

A decision in principle was made by the Sport Waikato Board of Trustees on Tuesday of this week with a Heads of Agreement to be signed as soon as possible.
Sport Waikato expects to relocate their operation to Wintec’s Avalon Drive Campus in early 2008.

“This move and the realisation of a long-term dream is incredibly exciting for us”, says Sport Waikato CEO, Matthew Cooper. “We celebrated our 20th birthday this year and over the years we have developed a reputation for being one of the most innovative and forward thinking sports trusts in the country. The move means we will be able to break even more new ground in the area of sport development and physical activity. We will be integrated with a tertiary institution giving us the opportunity to collaborate closely with Wintec, share resources and ideas, offer work experience to students and set a new benchmark for all regional sports trusts in New Zealand.”
The new Sports House partnership will enable Sport Waikato, Wintec and other sports bodies to work together in an inclusive culture and environment which is also placed to benefit the wider communities and be centrally located on main road and train routes. He said concept designs for the building are now under way with the initial plans being presented in December. He said other sports bodies have already expressed an interest in joining the Sports House.

Wintec CEO, Mark Flowers, speaking from China, said the institute was clearly delighted by the decision and sees many opportunities for synergies. “This move fits perfectly with our plans to further develop the Avalon Campus as well as confirming Wintec’s role as a forward thinking and regionally focused organisation. It will provide fantastic new learning experiences for our students and aid the ongoing exchange of knowledge in the areas of sport and exercise, and health. We are looking forward to working more closely with this iconic Waikato organisation.”

Matthew Cooper said Sport Waikato would retain its autonomy and visual profile post relocation but the move would complement the Regional Sports Trust’s ability to get “Everyone Inspired to be Active and Healthy for Life”. This is the first co-location of a regional sports trust with a tertiary in New Zealand.

Cooper applauded the Sport Waikato Board of Trustees for the months of extremely detailed and conscientious work they had undertaken since June 2005, saying the region really has something to thank them for now, and well into the future.

Sport Waikato is a charitable trust with a mission to foster participation and success in sport and active living – building active communities in the greater Waikato. It focuses on physical activity and sport at grassroots level, and currently has a staff of 67 FTE. The SportsForce programme involving 19 sporting codes and Project Energize; a Waikato DHB contract, are Sport Waikato’s flagship activities and others include Green Prescription, Family Lifestyle Coaches, He Oranga Poutama, working with under 5’s, school based programmes and working in the region’s nine districts with 11 District Sport Coordinators.


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