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SPARC Confirms Investment to Regional Sports

6 September 2006

SPARC Confirms Investment to Regional Sports Trusts

SPARC (Sport & Recreation New Zealand) has increased its investment in Regional Sports Trusts across New Zealand, committing $14.6 million for sport development and targeted programmes in the regions during the 2006/2007 financial year.

SPARC’s investment in the 17 Regional Sports Trusts has increased by $6.46 million since 2004, and today’s announcement assures the sports trusts of continued investment to 2010.

The trusts have worked alongside SPARC since 2004 to help increase levels of physical activity amongst New Zealanders and strengthen regional sport and physical recreation infrastructures.

“The Trusts have undertaken significant sport development work in their regions, and we want to continue working with them to ensure SPARC’s physical activity initiatives are reaching the communities,” said SPARC Chief Executive Nick Hill.

Programmes and initiatives that benefit from the investment include Green Prescriptions, which encourages doctors and practice nurses to prescribe physical activity as a means of improving health; CoachForce, which helps deliver coaching strategies of the National Sport Organisations to the regional level; He Oranga Poutama, which aims to increase and maintain physical activity levels of Māori.

Other programmes that benefit from the investment are Active Movement, which teaches young children fundamental movement skills that aid both physical and cognitive development; Active Schools, currently administered by 32 facilitators who develop quality, co-curricular physical activities at the primary school level; and Sportfit, which provides 381 secondary schools with investment aimed at improving the delivery of physical activity, sport and health.

Last week, Hill addressed leaders from the 17 Regional Sports Trusts to confirm SPARC’s continued commitment to these and other programmes.

“The Regional Sports Trusts are important regional resource centres. Owned and part funded by their communities, they offer SPARC local knowledge and a regional presence with other sports and physical activity providers in their region,” said Hill.

“The wide range of programmes the Trusts administer can be a real challenge. The Trusts have been working hard with schools, iwi, district health boards, sport and recreation organisations, councils, and community organisations in their regions to ensure every New Zealander has the opportunity to get active and reach his or her potential.”

“The holistic approach Trusts take will not only keep far more people active in sport and recreation into adulthood, but also lead to greater cognitive and psychological wellbeing, particularly in young people,” said Hill.

ENDS

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