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Volunteers and regions get sport boost

19 May 2005

Hon Trevor Mallard

Minister for Sport and Recreation

Volunteers and regions get sport boost

Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard today announced a major boost for grass-roots sport with the spotlight on volunteers and regional sports development.

"New Zealanders are passionate about sport. The Labour-led government is committed to ensuring every person in every community has the chance to benefit from sport and physical activity. It is good for us as a country and it is good for our health," Trevor Mallard said.

"An additional $6.5 million will be spent over four years on the development of training resources and a campaign aimed at recruiting, retaining and recognising volunteers.

“Volunteers are the unsung heroes and life-blood of sport in New Zealand. We need to recognise their contribution and provide on-going training and other support to encourage them to keep doing the invaluable work they do around the country every day,” Trevor Mallard said.

"On top of that, an extra $7.1 million will be spent over three years, from 2006-07, on establishing regional sport development officers within national sports organisations (NSOs). The aim here is to stimulate the growth of sport, by increasing participation rates within local communities and in particular, encouraging young people to keep playing sport after they leave school.

“If New Zealand is to become the most active nation it can, as well as continuing to be competitive internationally; we need to increase the capability of sport at a regional level, to expand the base and to develop our emerging stars. We also need to provide a sustainable sporting infrastructure so our children start early and continue to have quality physical activity and sporting experiences throughout their lives,” Trevor Mallard said.

Government funding for sport and recreation has increased from $2.5 million in the 1999-2000 budget to a total of $49 million in 2005-06, including the SPARC-administered Prime Minister's Scholarships. SPARC funding also goes towards high performance sport programmes, and towards programmes aimed at getting more New Zealanders on the move.

ENDS

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