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Sports bank to break down barriers to sport

8 November 2019

A community sports bank is set to open in Porirua, giving the community access to free sporting equipment.

The initiative, established by Wellington City Mission, will have its Porirua base at Te Rauparaha Arena.

Sports equipment will be donated by clubs, sports organisations, the public, and from lost and found at Council recreation centres and swimming pools.

“Our team is really excited to be a part of this with Wellington City Mission,” Porirua City Manager Events, Helen Brookes, says.

“We’re at the point where we can start gathering together the gear to really kick this off. We would love to have the sports bank open here in Porirua before Christmas.”

All sports gear, from swimming goggles to cricket bats, football boots to clothing, will be available in the sports bank to those who need it. Housing NZ, Police, coaches and clubs, schools and other agencies will identify those in need, who can then access the sports bank for gear they need using a printed card they are issued.

“What equipment we can get is only limited by your imagination,” Ms Brookes says.

Poverty in sport is a growing issue, says Ray Tuffin, Wellington City Mission Development Manager.

The cost of subs and other fees, transport and the equipment itself can be barriers to children and their whānau being able to access and participate in sport, and be heathier, he says.

“Poverty consists of many complexities, with social exclusion being one of them, and as a consequence, resulting in people and their children becoming vulnerable to social isolation.

“All around the world people are becoming less physically active. We know that not having access to the right gear can often be the reason why children and young people aren’t able to participate in sport and recreation.”

Two sports banks have been set up already, in Upper Hutt and Wellington, with five more coming in the coming weeks. The hope is to have 14 in total around the Wellington region, with all sharing the different equipment that is donated.

Wellington Cricket donated three vanloads of gear, Wellington Rugby 200 rugby balls and the Wellington Phoenix 100 footballs, while a number of other organisations have also made overtures to support the initiative, Mr Tuffin says.

Funding will be obtained to secure a supply of mouthguards for each sports bank.

Anyone who has equipment they wish to donate, please contact Keith Tahere at Te Rauparaha Arena – Keith.Tahere@poriruacity.govt.nz

ends

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