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John Walker Foundation launches new initiative

Media Release

20 October 2008

John Walker FYFOD Foundation launches new initiative

John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation launched its second initiative, Club Smart, in association with Counties Manukau Sport at Papatoetoe Softball Club's Juniors training at White Park, Pah Road, Papatoetoe.

Club Smart aims to improve the capability of sports clubs in the Manukau region. It will offer sports clubs support and resources to make them safe, inclusive and effective.

Sports clubs are at the heart of community sport, says Manukau Councillor John Walker.

"Many clubs are run by volunteers who willingly give up their time to enable other members to enjoy sport.

"Many sports clubs are struggling with various issues including volunteer and member recruitment and retention, funding, facilities and legal responsibilities.

"The Club Smart programme aims to create and deliver a comprehensive programme for club development. We hope to recognise good practice, improve the relationship with our clubs and encourage clubs to develop, increasing their capability and their capacity."

The programme will see three club development officers working closely with 45 to 60 clubs, says Pennie Ball, sports development advisor for Counties Manukau Sport.

"These officers will work with the clubs to develop and implement a plan over a 12 to 18 month period. At the end of this period, Club Smart will present the club with a letter of reference, outlining what they have achieved through the programme."

Cr Walker's Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation aims to provide every young person in Manukau the opportunity to participate in an active, healthy lifestyle through sport and recreation, and ensuring financial hardship is not a barrier.

The first project to receive FYFOD Foundation backing was Manukau Leisure Services' free 'Learn to Swim' programme for all year three pupils.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Photos of the launch are available on request.

About Club Smart Programme

o The comprehensive programme will be coordinated by the sport development team of Counties Manukau Sport

o Three club development officers will work with 15-20 clubs each. These officers will be based in Manurewa, Otara/East Tamaki, Mangere/Papatoetoe

o Over 12 to 24 months, clubs will complete a health check, and write and complete an action plan

o Initially, selected clubs will be invited to join for a variety of reasons, and later the invitation to join the programme will be available to all clubs in the region

Possible benefits of being a Club Smart Club

o Increased club membership numbers

o Improved club administration and organisation

o Higher standards of coaching and officiating

o Competition opportunities for all levels and ability

o Links developed with schools and communities

o Improved player performance and results

o Increased volunteer satisfaction and therefore retention

About John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation

Manukau City Councillor John Walker and Mayor Len Brown launched this initiative on 12 May 2008. Supported by the council, the Foundation aims to get every youngster in Manukau involved in sport and recreation.

ENDS


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