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Sport Hawke’s Bay a national finalist


Sport Hawke’s Bay a national finalist for success of Wairoa Community Centre

Sport Hawke’s Bay is a finalist at the New Zealand Sports and Recreation Awards due to its efforts in getting more Wairoa people active more often.

Sport Hawke’s Bay operates the Wairoa Community Centre for the Wairoa District Council and the increase in use of the Centre’s swimming pool and fitness centre has been recognised with a finalist spot in the Community Impact category at the awards to be held in Auckland on May 29.

Sport Hawke’s Bay chief executive Mark Aspden said the partnership with the council had led to over 10 percent of the region’s population becoming members, with the total number of visits to the Centre exceeding 90,000 in 2016.

“The Community Centre, its programmes and highly capable staff led by Centre Manager Sara Bird all create an environment which promotes an active and healthy lifestyle. The Sport Hawke’s Bay team has worked with the Council to create a safe and attractive facility that is known for high quality service delivery.

“It is playing a large role in creating positive community impact by encouraging more people from the region to live a healthier and more active lifestyle.

In the last 12 months, the Wairoa District Council has made a significant investment in upgrading the facility with a new Learn to Swim pool as well as relocating and refitting the fitness centre. The Centre attracted 200 more members in the last 12 months to reach a record membership of 940, while the swimming pool also broke user records with over 34,000 visits and 4992 learn to swim lessons, triple the number of lessons in the previous year.

Awards judge and Sport NZ General Manager of Community Sport, Geoff Barry said there was a high number of strong nominations in the Community Impact category, but Sport Hawke’s Bay is more than worthy of their place among the finalists.

“A key focus of Sport New Zealand’s Community Sport strategy is creating new opportunities for participation by identifying local solutions to local challenges, and getting the Wairoa community active is a great example of this,” said Mr Barry.

Wairoa District Council Mayor Craig Little said the most significant benefit of having the Centre is having a facility freely available with low barriers to participation.

The Centre allows for multiple community groups, schools and sports organisation to be active without having to travel to Napier or Gisborne.

The Centre’s popularity has seen a 156% increase in the number of total visits to the facility between 2005 and 2016. This includes a 154% increase in the visits to the Fitness Centre.

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