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Sports Gear Needed To Help Create A Level Playing Field

The community sports bank at Te Rauparaha Arena is approaching its first birthday, and the call has gone out for summer sports gear.

Sports equipment for the sports bank is donated by clubs, sports organisations, the public and from lost and found at Council recreation centres and swimming pools. It’s then given to tamariki to remove some of the cost barriers of playing sport - which has significant social and physical benefits.

Schools, police, coaches, clubs and other agencies identify those in need, who can then access the equipment for free, using a printed card they are issued.

"The cards go out to schools and teachers and staff identify whether kids need gear that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to access," Te Rauparaha Arena Senior Events Co-ordinator Keith Tahere says.

Right now, softball gear, balls for football, rugby and basketball, rugby boots in a range of kids’ sizes, shin pads and new mouth guards are needed.

"Last year Wellington Cricket donated three vanloads of gear, so we’ve got a good stock of cricket equipment.

"We’d like to encourage other clubs or organisations that may have sports gear they don’t use to donate," Mr Tahere says.

The sports bank initiative was established by Wellington City Mission, with 10 sports banks established across the Wellington region and two more in the pipeline. The Porirua branch has seen a number of good outcomes.

"We’ve had large families come in, and walk out with smiles on their faces," Mr Tahere says.

Porirua City Mayor Anita Baker says the sports bank is ticking many boxes.

"We want all our Porirua tamariki to be able to get involved this summer season" she says.

"Any kid who wants to play sport should be able to get out there, without the cost of gear being a barrier.

"We can all get behind this. Have a look in the garage, see what the kids have grown out of or even buy a new item and we will make sure it goes to someone who’ll enjoy it."

Anyone with items to donate can contact Keith Tahere at Te Rauparaha Arena - Keith.tahere@poriruacity.govt.nz

Most needed items:

- softball gloves

- rugby/football boots - especially smaller sizes

- new mouth guards

© Scoop Media

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