NZCT Grants More Than $150,000 To Community Sports
Funding boost for Tauranga Boxing Academy
NZCT has approved a grant of $80,000 towards the salaries of the head coach and manager of the Tauranga Boxing Academy, as well as the capital fit-out for its boxing gym. The academy is an ambitious new project that aims to inspire Tauranga youth to believe in themselves and achieve dreams they never thought possible. “This funding is extremely important,” says Craig Nees, Chairperson of the Bay of Plenty Youth Development Trust, which oversees the Tauranga Boxing Academy. “The capital fit-out and salaries are the main components to get up and going. Salaries in particular are a huge percentage of the operating costs. Securing this grant from NZCT has enabled us to order the boxing ring, new flooring, strength and condition equipment, and boxing bags.” Tauranga is no different from any other city in New Zealand in that there are some young people who feel disillusioned, with little respect for themselves or others and who are exposed to violence, drugs and alcohol. Many are from single-parent families in poverty. “To turn these kids around you need to earn their trust and then get alongside them,” says Craig. “Boxing provides a platform to do this. A big part of the programme is giving them opportunities they normally wouldn’t have, as well as teaching them about respect and commitment. We are already seeing a difference in these kids.” The successful Billy Graham Boxing Programme that began in Wellington 13 years ago is the model being used for the Tauranga Boxing Academy. “Boys are attracted to boxing. As a sport, boxing teaches discipline and encourages them to get fit. Some of the boys in the Billy Graham programme have been there for 7 to 8 years. It’s all about providing long-term change,” says Craig. Former New Zealand Warrior Henry Fa’afili is the Head Coach at the academy and is a fantastic role model for the young people. “Henry is the right coach to be in front of the kids,” says Craig. “He is so passionate about boxing and seeing the kids grow. The boys look up to him. We also have other really talented assistant coaches, so we are very lucky.” It can be quite hard for new organisations like the Tauranga Boxing Academy to secure the funding they need. The support from NZCT has been very well received by everyone connected with the project as Craig explains, “It was fantastic to learn that our application to NZCT was successful. This project is such a green field start and some funders told us to come back in 12 to 24 months’ time. NZCT has been excellent. They took the time to understood the programme and were willing to commit to it.”
New lease of life for old yachts
The Hawke’s Bay Nautical Education Trust Board was over the moon when they bought four second-hand Elliot 6 yachts for a bargain price last year. The icing on the cake has been receiving an NZCT grant of $4,823 towards wrapping the yachts to make them look brand new. Yachting is a growing sport in Hawke’s Bay and is enjoyed by both young and old. All it takes is one go on the water and it can start a lifelong love affair with the sport. “Once people get on, usually they are hooked,” says Hawke’s Bay Nautical Education Trust Board Chairperson Adrian Mannering. The NZCT grant will have a big impact on the 200 people involved with the Hawke’s Bay Nautical Education Trust and the wider community. Wrapping the yachts will maintain and protect them and also help them stand out on the water. Each yacht has been wrapped in a different colour, which makes them look attractive and will help get exposure. “It will get more people interested in the sport in Hawke’s Bay, particularly young people,” says Adrian. “We try and get as many bums on seats as possible so we don’t charge. We have Wednesday night sailing using the boats and are getting quite a diverse range of people turning up, which is great.” The yachts themselves are multi-purpose and can be used for match racing by experienced yachties, as well as giving older, larger and disabled people an opportunity to learn to sail. This is due to the Elliot 6 being an open boat with no cabin, allowing people to see. The keel also adds a layer of safety. “The Elliots allow us to take people who have never sailed out on the water. They are really user-friendly. We can also put five juniors on with a skipper, which helps get more younger people involved in the sport too,” says Adrian. Adrian is thankful that NZCT recognised the need and funded the wrapping of the yachts. “NZCT has trusted us and saw the benefit of painting the boats. Getting the funding all in one shot meant we were able to manage the process better and do it properly,” he says.
NZCT grant benefits Tiniroto School and surrounding community
A $52,000 grant has been approved towards the sports court upgrade at Tiniroto School. The existing court at the school is rarely used by pupils because it is very old and in a poor state with no equipment. Being the only facility in the Tiniroto area, the 15 pupils and the wider community have been missing out on sporting opportunities. This is set to change from Term 4 when the existing court is re-surfaced, fenced, shaded and has equipment, such as ball hoops and tennis nets installed. “I cannot say enough about the significance of this grant on the school pupils and the wider community,” says Jen Alley, a member of the Tiniroto School Board of Trustees. “As a decile 4 school, many of the kids have no other opportunity apart from school to acquire basic sports skills in netball, basketball, tennis, hockey and soccer. For a long time, we have had no suitable facility fit for purpose.” The school and the wider community had fundraised tirelessly for over year to fund the court upgrade at Tiniroto. Despite significant fundraising over the past year, which saw the production of a book, sausage sizzles, firewood, raffles, crutching days and stock drives, the school did not have sufficient funds to see the project become a reality. The recent grant from NZCT has made this significant project possible. “Having a great court facility will mean our kids will gain basic sporting skills, knowledge, competitiveness, confidence and enjoyment,” says Jen. “This project will give them an opportunity to take these skills further in the future. The whole community will be able to use and benefit from this new court, as individuals, groups and families. It will create a great sense of pride amongst our school kids and community and a confidence that they are not missing out, despite our remote rural location.” Shading of half the court is a key aspect of the project given the extreme summer temperatures in the area and minimal natural shade at the school. It will give pupils and community users the opportunity to use the facility safely in summer and will help promote sun safety and awareness. “When I found out that our application to NZCT had been successful, I was so incredibly pleased for our school and community,” says Jen. “The whole process with NZCT was a great experience. The online portal was simple and the staff were helpful and turned our application around fast.”
Christchurch City BMX Club receives NZCT grant towards track upgrade
A grant of over $15,000 from NZCT will enable the Christchurch City BMX Club to asphalt the corners of their track in Hornby as part of a significant upgrade of the facility. “This funding is vital to allow the club to develop and maintain the facilities to benefit our members as well as the local community,” says Vice-President John Edwards. “Our membership subscriptions cover basic expenses but not things such as track improvements. It is important for our club that it remains affordable enough that children get the opportunity to learn bike skills and self-confidence. Funding from the likes of NZCT has a massive impact on the experience they get to have with the club.” Club members and the wider public will now have the ability to train on the new corners, which are at the national standard for BMX track design and specifications. This is vital as all national championship tracks for the last 10 years have had asphalt corners and the club’s riders would be significantly disadvantaged by not having the ability to train on asphalt corners in preparation for national events. Not only will BMX riders in Christchurch be able to train and compete on a national standard track but also the club will be able to host major meets and events, benefiting the club and the local community. “Holding major events has many benefits,” says John. “Club and local riders will have a ‘home track advantage’ when competing at these events. Major events also tend to bring in money from competitors and their families into the local community. It also provides the opportunity to develop and maintain the track and surrounds to meet the requirements of hosting major events.” The Christchurch City BMX Club currently has about 100 members, mostly children aged 10 years and younger. Regionally, about 200 riders will use the track during the BMX season. “On top of this thousands of people in the local community use the facilities and our club is proud to provide a resource to the community that families can access for free,” says John.