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Sport For Free In 2020 – Letting Kids Be Kids Again

Fees will be waived for the rest of this year for all junior sports leagues held in Porirua and Masterton, thanks to the team at YMCA Central.

Lockdown was a tough time for many kids: not able to play their favourite sports, getting less exercise than usual and missing out on the social hub that forms around every sports league. In response, Y Central is aiming to help make it easier than ever for kids to get back into their sport, or start something new.

“Getting kids healthy and active is part of our mission and one of the reasons the Y exists,” says Brendan Owens, YMCA Central CEO. “We want to ensure that whanau and communities are not forced to withdraw their tamariki from sport and recreation due to fees.”

Across Porirua and Masterton, that means kids can join up to play volleyball, football or basketball for the remainder of 2020 without paying any fees. Hopefully this is one way the local Y can boost kids’ recovery from the shared experiences of Covid-19. The free fees also fit in with the nationwide YMCA campaign to ‘Let Kids Be Kids Again’ – branches across the country are all doing our part to grow healthy, active young New Zealanders.

Sport in our communities is facing uncertain times due to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re working closely with Sport Wellington and Sport New Zealand, thinking collectively about what the future of local sport might look like once we’re out of lockdown. This could be a chance for us to remove even more barriers to participation and enjoyment – building healthier communities and families.

“Sport is such an important part of Kiwi life and I think most of us have been missing it,” says Brendan. “It also has a vital role in helping us all recover our confidence. But for sport to be able to play its role in the rebuild, it needs to be accessible, affordable and sustainable. Removing these fees is one step in making that happen.”

The nationwide YMCA network is the largest not-for-profit provider of sport and recreation services in New Zealand. Together we provide services throughout the country, including indoor and outdoor sport and recreation options, health and fitness programmes and water-based activities. With over 2.7 million participations nationally in YMCA active recreation programming (as of April 2020) it is estimated that 1 in 6 New Zealanders is involved in some way with the YMCA.

If you’d like to learn more about the Let Kids Be Kids initiative, and find out how to support the cause, visit our donation page: ycentral.nz/donate.

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