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Government Help For Secondary School Gyms

The Government is injecting nearly $5 million into gymnasia at nine secondary schools where facilities are inadequate.

Prime Minister Helen Clark made the announcement at Wellington East Girls' College this morning during a visit there with Education Minister Trevor Mallard and Wellington Central MP Marian Hobbs. The school will receive $619,840 as part of a special package agreed to by Cabinet.

"I'm thrilled to be able to make the announcement at Wellington East Girls College," Helen Clark said.

"I know that the school has been waiting for more than a decade to get decent government support for a proper gymnasium.

"Wellington East Girls' College has been trying to teach its physical education programme with less than half of the gym area to which it is entitled. Its current facility lacks a full-size basketball court.

"Back in 1997, I and other women MPs made representations to the then-Minister of Education, Wyatt Creech, on behalf of Wellington East Girls' College.

"We believed it was important that girls schools not be left poorly equipped in sport and physical education facilities. Four of the nine schools to receive catch-up funding to improve their gymnasium facilities are girls schools," Helen Clark said.

Trevor Mallard said that the other schools which would benefit from the $4.9 million immediately available were Otago Girls’ High School ($619,840), Papakura High School ($700,960), Massey High School ($917,280), Long Bay College ($476,320), Gisborne Girls’ High School ($386,880), Horowhenua College ($330,720), Queens High School ($330,720), and Glendowie College ($314,080).

"As well, another $2.5 million will be spent on gyms at other secondary schools over the following three years," Trevor Mallard said.

“We have a brand new health and physical education curriculum becoming compulsory from next year, yet the gym facilities in some schools aren’t good enough for it to be taught properly.

"Today’s announcement is intended to provide help for schools which had serious deficiencies in the size of their gymnasium space. Other schools already have the ability to address their gym deficiencies through the roll growth programme," Trevor Mallard said.

Ends

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