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New lights for Western Rangers Football Club

The Hastings-based Western Rangers have received an NZCT grant of $65,000 towards replacing the field lights at St Leonards Park.

The funding from NZCT has been described as a game-changer by the club. Every year the club grows in size and the grant will enable it to provide all its senior and junior teams with a safe training environment.

“The committee and many of our club members have been planning this project for some time and have spent all year working to raise the necessary funds which has been challenging. To have NZCT come on board with this significant contribution has meant that this project is going to move forward,” says Treasurer Dairne Withers.

The current lights are over 30 years old. When the club looked to replace the bulbs last year, they found that the poles were no longer load bearing for modern bulbs. This presented a health and safety risk and the club sprung into action to raise the funds needed to replace the lights.

“We are overwhelmed by the support provided by NZCT for this project. Our members are so appreciative that these upgrades, that have been needed for years, are now going to become a reality due to the generosity of NZCT,” says Dairne. “There is a mixture of excitement and relief that the club can provide a safe environment for members to train and participate in the game they love.”

Western Rangers has a wide range of ages participating, with club members starting off as young as four years old through to many Masters still playing well into their fifties. The junior club has grown significantly over the last three years with a total of thirty-two teams participating in 2019.

“We pride ourselves on having a place available for anyone in the community wanting to play football, regardless of age or ability,” says Dairne.

While the NZCT grant will enable work to start on the project, the club will need to raise a further $8,000 to complete it. Club members have been making individual donations and the committee is planning further fundraisers.

“The team at NZCT have been wonderful,” says Dairne. “From the very beginning of the application process they have supported us by providing advice on what information is required and made the process accessible and easy.”

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