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Over $4.5 million in grants set to benefit Tai Tokerau sport & recreation

02 May 2023   /   News & reports
Early artist impressions of the upgraded Pātua outdoor education facilities. Image source: Tohi Henry & Peter Ogle.

In March 2023, the Foundation North Board approved seven grants ranging from $60,000 to $1.3 million for Te Tai Tokerau’s sport and recreation organisations.

Audry McLaren, Head of Funding at the Foundation says, “Through sport and recreation, many people connect with their communities, whānau, and te taiao. The Foundation recognises the benefits of moving our bodies, laughing alongside others, being challenged in healthy competition, and experiencing the environment. These grant recipients exemplify leadership and determination, and we are delighted to support their aspirations for their communities.”

$1.3 million to Kaikohe and Districts Sportsville to support the development of a comprehensive indoor sports facility at Lindvart Park. Doubling as a community hub for the Kaikohe area, “the building is being designed to make our community proud,” says Debbie Raphael, Facilities Coordinator at Kaikohe and Districts Sportsville. The building will accommodate the needs of the community by offering access to programmes and sports previously unavailable in Kaikohe. Kapa haka groups, holiday programmes, schools, tertiary institutes, and regional events are planning to use the space alongside sports groups, providing a multi-purpose asset to the community that fosters and uplifts the wellbeing of those in the rohe.

$900,000 to the Ruakaka Recreation Centre (Ruakaka Wahitakaro) to upgrade and improve accessibility to sport and recreation facilities. The facilities will create welcoming, safe spaces to meet the diverse needs of their community and remove barriers preventing local tai tamariki from engaging with sport and recreation. “Equity in access to physical and mental wellbeing services needs to be close to those who need it,” says Christine Thirling from the Committee of the Ruakaka Recreation Centre.

$800,000 to the Tikipunga Association Football Club towards the $4.8 million upgrade to the club’s facilities. This project will be the first upgrade of the facilities since its construction in 1983. The club aims to provide modern facilities that meet the growing need.

A construction site with scaffolding surrounding the steel frames of a large square building fenced by steel construction fences that host a black sign reading ‘BayBuilders’. Two men in neon-orange hi-vis vests are seen on the scaffolding to the left of the building, which is set against a background of cloudy skies.
Work has begun on the new Kerikeri squash courts. Image source: Kerikeri Squash Club Facebook.

$600,000 to the Pātua Outdoor Education and Recreation Trust (POERT) toward upgrading outdoor education facilities. A 12-year journey for POERT, this funding will contribute toward their vision of implementing facilities that encourage access to outdoor education for tamariki of all abilities in the wake of the pandemic. Pātua Outdoor Education and Recreation’s Peter Ogyle says, “the facility will be taonga amongst the taonga [of Pātua]."

$500,000 over two years for Sport Northland’s operating and programme costs. This grant will contribute to their vision of ‘All Northlanders moving more for enhanced wellbeing’. Sport Northland Chief Executive Brent Eastwood says, “Simply ‘moving more’ can significantly improve one’s health and wellbeing, and as such, Sport Northland acts in a support role for the sector to provide play, active recreation and sport activities for Northlanders.”

$449,912 to the Kerikeri Squash Club to construct a four-court squash facility at the Kerikeri Sports Complex. In 2016, the Kerikeri squash courts were damaged by fire, leaving the community with no access to squash facilities. The courts will be multi-purpose to serve a range of recreational activities and programmes. “This facility will expand on the Kerikeri Sports Complex offerings to the wider community with a sport that can be played all year round, night and day, by all ages for fun and fitness,” says David Collins on behalf of the Kerikeri Squash Club.

$60,000 to Northland Basketball toward operating costs. Northland Basketball is a fast-growing organisation; in 2022, 7,600 players competed in various competitions across the rohe. “The support from Foundation North will allow Northland Basketball to continue to serve the communities of Tai Tokerau. Basketball has grown to be the biggest participation sport in Northland, and that was only ever made possible by partnering with awesome funding partners such as Foundation North to bring costs down for whānau,” says Josh Port, General Manager of Northland Basketball.