Funding available for Gisborne’s rural sports teams

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Dont miss out on funding to help get rural kids active in winter sports. That is the plea from Gisborne District Councils community development officer Ngarimu Simpkins. Getting involved in regular sporting competitions is always a challenge for people living in rural communities. The Rural Travel fund from Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) can make a real difference.

As head coach of Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby Union this year Simpkins has a vested interest ensuring rural kids have every opportunity to develop their sporting talents. This fund has helped hundreds of kids from the coast and other rural areas in the district attend weekly competitons throughout the winter. They have to travel to compete there is no other option Without support many families could not afford to send their kids into town each weekend. One of those missing out could be my next star player. So anyone involved in a rural sporting team who competes in a local competition need to get their pens out now.

The fund is administered by Gisborne District Council and was developed in response to concerns about the lack of participation in sport by young people living in rural communities. Young people aged between 5-19 years who participate in school or club sports teams outside of school hours, are the focus. Gisborne based sports teams are not eligible to apply.

Applications are considered by a local allocations committee made up of Council staff and a Sport Gisborne Tair?whiti representative who have an understanding of the challenges rural sports teams face.

The fund is only for travel to local competitions. Funding for travel to training or out of district competitions does not qualify. If anyone needs help with their application I am happy to help.

Applications for the winter travel fund are now open and close on Friday 8 April 2011. Application forms are available from Council Customer services in Te Puia Springs and Fitzherbert Street or from Councils website.

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