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Half A Million Dollar Grant Equips Surf Lifeguards

Half A Million Dollar Grant Equips Surf Lifeguards For Summer

A grant of more than half a million dollars will help Surf Lifesaving Northern Region provide strategic support for rescue services in the region, says grant-maker ASB Community Trust.

Announcing the $547,500 grant, Trust CEO Jennifer Gill says it will help 15 affiliated surf clubs in the Auckland and Northland region. It is the first time the trust has made a surf lifesaving grant at a regional level.

“This joint application is the result of discussions with Surf Lifesaving Northern Region over the past six to 12 months,” she says. “It’s part of our new strategy for funding rescue services - to provide strategic support at a regional level.

“The region-wide funding approach will help ensure surf lifesaving services continue within the northern region.”

Surf Life Saving Northern Region Chief Executive, Steve Johns, says the outstanding support shown by the ASB Community Trust is testament to the integral community service surf lifeguards provide every summer.

"Last summer northern region lifeguards saved more than 900 lives. The generous support of the ASB Community Trust means we can provide our lifesaving clubs with essential rescue equipment and continue on our mission to prevent death and injury on our beaches."

ASB Community Trust has also announced grants for a range of recreation and sport groups.

Among them is $360,000 to help WaterSafe Auckland with its campaign to reduce drowning rates among the Maori, Pasifika and new migrant communities.

WaterSafe Auckland points out that 39% of the region’s residents were not born in New Zealand, so nearly half of Auckland’s population do not necessarily have the experience or skills required to be safe in our unique aquatic environment.

Maori and Pasifika continue to be over-represented in the drowning statistics and a number of schools with high Pasifika and Maori rolls face increasing barriers to learn to swim and water safety education for their pupils.

“This generous grant will enable our organisation to address these issues around drowning prevention, water safety education and increasing aquatic participation through the school sector by way of the Integrated Aquatic Programme”, says Sandy Harrop, CEO of WaterSafe Auckland.

This partnership initiative ensures the core skills of learn to swim and water safety knowledge are in place, including funding for access to pools. The programme meets the needs of the students by teaching them, in a safe pool environment, the skills required for what the students ‘do’ in the aquatic area, whether it be playing in the local water hole or creek, gathering kaimoana, body boarding at the beach or participating in waka ama. There is also provision for professional development opportunities, teacher release days and support to the pre-service teacher training area.

“The grant also funds resources and community linked initiatives,” Sandy Harrop says. “This is vital if we are going to achieve increased and safer use of the diverse and exciting aquatic environments that identify our region.”

ASB Community Trust has recently set a new strategic direction for grants in the Recreation and Sport sector and is encouraging organisations to view its website for further details: www.ASBCommunityTrust.org.nz

“Our aim is to support organisations that focus on community participation and engagement in recreation,” says CEO Jennifer Gill. “These grants will help increase participation by younger and older people.”

Other recreation and sport grants announced by the Trust include: $146,000 for North Harbour Sports Foundation; $143,000 for Sport Waitakere Trust; $82,000 for Gymsport NZ; $78,000 for Basketball Auckland; $60,000 for Eastern Suburbs Gymnastics; $53,000 for Auckland Badminton; $50,000 for Waitakere Gymnastics and $25,000 for Tennis NZ.


About ASB Community Trust:
ASB Community Trust is an independent grant-making organisation serving the Auckland and Northland communities. With funding from its investment income, the Trust will this year grant $44 million to not-for-profit groups in the region.

Incorporated societies or registered charitable trusts can apply for funds, provided they are a not-for-profit organisation working for community good.

For more details, visit the Trust’s website: www.ASBCommunityTrust.org.nz

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