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SPARC boosts Active Communities investment

SPARC boosts Active Communities investment

SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) is continuing its commitment to getting Kiwis active through the introduction of several new Active Communities projects.

Southland, Gisborne, Rodney, Wairarapa and Wellington are the latest regions to benefit from a $1.4 million investment from SPARC aimed at increasing the physical activity levels of New Zealanders.

This latest investment round brings SPARC’s total Active Communities investment to date to $7.1 million.

SPARC Chief Executive Nick Hill said the Active Communities programme was seeing great success with projects like 10,000 Steps Northland, City on its Feet (Tauranga City Council) and Youth Destinations (North Shore City Council) achieving significant increases in physical activity opportunities in their communities.

“It’s exciting to see these projects come to fruition as a result of hard work, and effective partnerships between central and local government and community organisations,” said Hill.

Hill said he was looking forward to seeing Kiwis benefit from this latest round of investment.

“Active Communities is all about supporting people to get active by providing them with the environment to achieve that,” said Hill. “On a personal level being active is about one of the best things you can do for your health. At a community level there are significant social and economic benefits that come with being an active community,” said Hill.

“The programme is part of an integrated pathway approach that we’re taking so that Kiwis have the opportunity to choose and enjoy sport and recreation for life.”

Successful projects are announced by SPARC twice yearly. The successful projects from this round are:

Gisborne District Council
$251,000 over three years
 This investment will allow Gisborne District Council and Ngati Porou Hauora to continue the Ngati and Healthy project for diabetes intervention based at Ngati Porou Hauora on the East Coast. The aim of the project is to increase physical activity in urban and rural areas through community managed and operated physical activity classes.

Wellington City Council
$600,000 over three years
 Wellington City Council will expand its Push Play Outreach programme and introduce an innovative approach where the city is divided into thirds and Push Play hubs are established in each section to help the local community become more active. Three Push Play co-ordinators, based in a community facility, will work with the community, training people to deliver programmes and projects. They will also run events, provide advice, and support local sports clubs.

Rodney District Council
$360,000 over three years
 The Rodney District Council project aims to establish Push Play Neighbourhood Collectives (PPNC) in Wellsford, Warkworth and Snells Beach, and to enhance the existing PPNCs in South Kaipara. Three PPNC coordinators will set up the PPNCs and will be responsible for the facilitation of physical activity opportunities in their community. This work will be overseen by Harbour Sport working closely alongside Rodney District Council.

South Wairarapa District Council
$125,000 over two years
 Active Wairarapa seeks to make physical activity options, facilities and events both visible and accessible to both residents and visitors to the Wairarapa. A centrally co-ordinated, web-accessible database of physical activities and facilities available by activity type, location, frequency and contact details will be established, in conjunction with an Arts, Culture and Heritage strategy lead group. Active Wairarapa will also promote active transport and the development of travel plans within local communities – to school, the shops and local clubs and activities. Dog-walking areas in or near all towns will also be established.

Southland District Council, Gore District Council, Invercargill City Council
$105,000 over two years
 This project aims to identify communities of interest (Northern Southland, Te Anau, Western Southland, Central Southland, Southern Southland, Eastern Southland, Invercargill and Stewart Island) to review and assess the sport, recreation and community facilities provision in the area. Key issues such as demographics, future demands and usage requirements, infrastructure to support facilities and barriers to participation/use of facilities will be identified. Community forums will be conducted involving community groups and sports clubs including outside agencies which currently use and support the facilities. A facility assessment will be undertaken followed by a process of categorisation and prioritisation of these facilities.

For more information about the Active Communities programme visit SPARC’s website www.sparc.org.nz

Ends

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