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Wellington City Mission creating connections to sport

The Wellington City Mission (The Mission) has been facilitating conversations and creating connections in a bid to break down the barriers to sport, resulting in the opening of a new Community Sports Bank.

The Mission has been working together with Upper Hutt, Hutt City, Porirua, Kapiti-Coast District and Wellington Councils as well as 18 other organisations, to open the first Community Sports Bank at The Hub at Toitū Pōneke Community and Sports Centre.

This will be one of many Community Sports Banks to open in targeted communities across the Wellington region.

Poverty in sport is a growing issue in our own backyard with the cost of subs and fees, equipment and transport being the three main barriers to children, young people and families being able to access and participate in sport. Says Ray Tuffin, The Mission’s Community Development Manager.

“The aim of the Community Sports Bank Project is to reduce and eliminate the cost of equipment for those who need it and by this, increase sport participation and increase activity.

“Poverty consists of many complexities, with social exclusion being one of them, and as a consequence, resulting in people and their children becoming vulnerable to social isolation.

“The lack of income, resources, and confidence often impacts social participation in sport which is why The Mission are wanting to work collaboratively to break down these barriers.

“In order to build inclusion, self-esteem and resilience among children and young people, we have to start somewhere. The opening of a Community Sports Bank is the right place to start.” Says Ray Tuffin.

Wellington City Council have jumped on board, as they continue to do work around improving equity in sport and recreation. Says Ali Whitton, Health and Wellbeing Partnership Leader.

“All around the world people are becoming less physically active. We know that not having access to the right sports gear can often be the reason why children and young people aren’t able to sign up for or participate in sport and recreation.

“The vision of a region-wide Community Sports Bank is an amazing initiative that could significantly help people in our region continue to participate in the sports they love.” Says Ali Whitton.

Sports equipment will be donated by the community, sports organisations and council recreational centres and swimming pools lost and found.

The Wellington Central Community Sports Bank will officially be opened by Mayor Justin Lester on Monday 23 September, at 10:30am.

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