Council youth initiative receives $284,000 funding boost

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Rotoruas new youth parksprogramme has received a monetary boost from Sport & Recreation NZs (SPARC) Youth Recreation and Activities fund.

SPARC has approved $284,050 over a three-year period to support Rotorua District Councils (RDC)’FreeParking’initiative.

FreeParking aims to provide free sport and recreation opportunities and activities to young people aged 16 to 20 years on parks and reserves within fourof Rotoruas neighbourhoods – Western Heights, Koutu, Fordlands and eastern suburbs.

RDC youth projects officer Jill Campbell says FreeParking will expand on the councils Youth Spaces Project, creating community sport and recreation hubs.

Theses hubs will offer an array of programmes, unstructured and structured activities, and facilitated play on parks and reserves.

Mrs Campbell says the programmes will encourage young people to develop a passion for sport and recreation.

FreeParking is taking a community development approach to these sites by involving young people, schools, community associations, sport codes and Sport Bay of Plenty to help create a community culture of participation, withlong-termsustainable outcomes.

By providing FreeParking programmes on the four new youth spaces we take away traditional barriers to participation, such as transport, costly fees, lack of awareness of whats available and provision of facilities.

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