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$113,000 donation helps grow sport skills

Press Release: Harcourts

For immediate release

$113,000 donation helps grow sport skills

17 September 2015

You’d be hard-pressed to find kids who enjoy their sport more than those who are part of the Papatoetoe United adapted football programme.

The programme is one of hundreds of community groups around the country who has benefited from the support of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, including Activity Fund grants for its participants to participate in the weekly training sessions.

Those grants have been given a massive boost with a $113,000 donation by the Harcourts Foundation from funds raised at the recent Halberg Sport for Life dinner.

The programme currently has five participants made up of primary school aged boys and girls, who are ambulant or use a walker or stick for mobility, train weekly with a committed volunteer coaching team to improve their football skills at Kolmer Sports Centre in Papatoetoe, Auckland.

Paul Ralph, one of the head coaches with Papatoetoe United Football junior club, says all the coaches and assistants who volunteer to help with each training session absolutely love doing it.

“These kids are amazing. We get so much out of doing it. Just seeing the looks on their faces is amazing,” Paul says.

Halberg Disability Sport Adviser Maia Lewis worked with the Papatoetoe United Football club to set up the programme after a parent approached her about her son finding it hard to keep up in a mainstream football programme. She says support by the Harcourts Foundation helps Halberg meet these kind of needs in communities.

“This is a good example of how a need is identified in a community by someone in that community, and we can help meet that need through our Activity Fund grants programme,” Maia says.

The Harcourts Foundation is an official partner of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation.

In presenting the donation, Harcourts NZ CEO Hayden Duncan said watching the squad practice was an inspiration and a clear reminder of why it was so important to support the work of Halberg.

“It’s not just how much fun these kids are having doing something they might not otherwise be able to try, but it’s also humbling to see how much time and energy the coaching staff and organisers put into working with them.

“When you look at it that way, the work the Harcourts Foundation does to raise money for Halberg seems like the easy part,” he says.

Harcourts Foundation ambassador Emma Revell says the partnership between the Harcourts Foundation and Halberg was formed after many of the Harcourts team witnessed first-hand the incredible difference the sporting organisation makes to the lives of disabled Kiwis and their families.

“To see the positive affect it has on these kids is awe-inspiring. To see them be able to fulfil their potential and grow in confidence makes our support of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation a simple decision.”

About the Harcourts Foundation

Harcourts launched Harcourts Foundation in 2008 and our promise is simple; to provide support that helps, grows and enriches our communities. With 100% of the funds raised going straight to the charities who need it most, we’ve been able to provide grants totaling more than $3 million to support local community groups as well as the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation. We’re incredibly proud of the work the Harcourts Foundation and its many supporters are doing to help to change lives and make dreams come true.

About the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation

The Halberg Disability Sport Foundation is a charitable organisation founded in 1963 by Olympic legend, Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ) on the belief that all people, regardless of their ability, should have equal opportunity to enhance their lives through sport and recreation.

The Halberg Disability Sport Foundation employs 10 Disability Sport Advisers (DSAs) nationwide. These dedicated, highly skilled, expert field staff work with schools, sport and recreation organisations, facilities and clubs to provide training and support to ensure inclusive programmes and events can be provided. The Foundation also has an AllSports Activity Fund which provides grants to physically disabled young people (under 21 years) to help cover the costs of adaptive equipment, lessons and camps.

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