More than $1.85m has been distributed to 38 national organisations through Sport NZ’s Exceptional Systems Support Fund (ESS).
Designed to relieve the financial impact of COVID-19, the Exceptional Systems Support Fund was open for applications from national organisations whose primary purpose is the delivery of play, active recreation or sport, and who are not current investment partners of Sport NZ.
The fund, which closed in June, was increased from $1.5m by Sport NZ based on the volume and need of applicants. Sport NZ’s partner in the fund, the New Zealand Sports Foundation Charitable Trust (NZSFCT), provided $500,000 of the funds available and were keen to see their funding support organisations who benefit young people, are focused on participation and include educational and leadership benefits.
“The play, sport and active recreation system has many national bodies, not all of which are our current investment partners. This fund provided an opportunity for us to support others whose important work in keeping New Zealanders physically active was financially impacted by COVID-19,” says Sport NZ CEO Peter Miskimmin.
“Some of these are organisations in which we have previously invested, but most are first-time recipients of Sport NZ investment. That makes it all the more significant to us that we are able to provide this support, and through this learn more about the work these organisations do and how they contribute the wellbeing of New Zealanders.”
“We were really pleased to be able to partner with the NZSFCT to support a broad range of organisations who provide opportunities for physical activity – particularly focused on young people”
The list of recipients includes Riding for the Disabled, Underwater Hockey New Zealand, AIMS Games and the Spirit of Adventure Trust, with many of the 38 recipients delivering outdoor based recreation activities that support women and girls, young people, Māori, Pacifica or disabled people – all of whom are among the groups most under-represented when it comes to physical activity.
Another of the recipients was Youthtown - a national not-for-profit organisation that provides activity-based programmes for young people such as, sports, outdoor adventures and music. Youthtown CEO Fay Amaral says she is thrilled to receive the funds.
“We’re about getting tamariki and rangatahi active. We currently have programmes in twelve areas across New Zealand, and the ESS funding means we will be able to continue to extend our reach.”
“With the funding received to cover our core operating costs, we’re now confident to continue with our plans to open new youth activations in the Hawkes Bay, Rotorua, Upper Hutt and areas of need within Tamaki Makaurau. Working in partnership with Sport NZ will bring benefits that will impact more young people in disadvantaged communities in New Zealand . That’s exciting,” says Ms Amaral.