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Disability Inclusion Fund Guidelines

Disability Inclusion Fund Guidelines

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Included in these guidelines: 

1. Introduction  

  • Key dates 
  • Important documents 
  • Further information and enquiries 

2. About the Disability Inclusion Fund 

  • Overview 
  • What types of organisations can apply? 
  • How much will Sport NZ invest in each proposal? 
  • What types of initiatives is Sport NZ looking for? 

3. Eligibility criteria 

  • Who can apply? 
  • Who cannot apply? 
  • Applications for multiple organisations 
  • What we will fund 
  • What we will not fund 

4. Assessment criteria 

  • Evaluation and monitoring expectations 

5. How to apply 

  • Alternate forms of application submission 
  • Submitting a video recording 
  • Assessment process 

6. Additional information 

  • Protecting your information 
  • Official Information Act 1982 
  • Privacy Act 1993 
  • Accuracy of your information 

 Included separately: 

1. Introduction

Sport New Zealand is a kaitiaki of the play, active recreation and sport system in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our purpose is to contribute to the wellbeing of everybody in Aotearoa New Zealand by leading an enriching and inspiring play, active recreation and sport system. Our vision is simple, Every Body Active. 

Ensuring all New Zealanders have access to quality experiences and improving the range and quality of physical activity on offer for disabled people is an integral part of this vision. Following a review of the Active NZ Survey – Spotlight on Disability in 2018, Sport NZ released its Disability Plan for play, active recreation and sport in 2019, which set out ten commitments to create a more inclusive system, create better quality experiences and deliver better outcomes for disabled people in play, active recreation and sport 

The Disability Inclusion Fund is the latest step in the process of delivering on the commitments of the Disability Plan and adheres specifically to commitment number seven
Invest in partnerships, funds and programmes supporting disabled tamariki and rangatahi. Key dates

Disability Plan for play, active recreation and sport in 2019



Disability Inclusion Fund open for application 

Monday, 6 September 2021 at 9:00am

Deadline for submitting questions about the Disability Inclusion Fund 
(To ensure fairness for all potential applicants, we will regularly update the Frequently Asked Questions with our answers to questions received)

Monday, 11 October 2021 at 5:00pm

Final update to Frequently Asked Questions on

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Deadline for submitting applications for the Disability Inclusion Fund 

Monday, 18 October 2021 at 12:00pm

Successful and unsuccessful applicants notified by Sport NZ 

Friday, 10 December 2021

Disability Inclusion Fund investment commences with payments made to successful applicants 

January 2022

Important documents

Before beginning an application, we recommend that you carefully read the Disability Inclusion Fund Application Guidelines (this document) and consult the following resources: 

Further information and enquiries 

For further information see questions about the Disability Inclusion Fund or these guidelines, please consult the FAQ section below. If this does not answer your query, please email: 

Enquiries about this fund or these guidelines should be emailed to by 5:00pm Monday, 11 October 2021 (at the latest). To ensure fairness to all potential applicants, we will regularly update the FAQ section with responses to questions received, with the final answers to be updated on Wednesday, 13 October 2021. 

2. About the Disability Inclusion Fund 


Sport NZ is seeking to create sustainable change within the play, active recreation and sport sector, to provide disabled tamariki and rangatahi (including young people up to age 24) with quality and equitable participation opportunities of their choice, and an inclusive environment in which to participate. The Disability Inclusion Fund will invest in mahi that leads to these types of sustainable changes across the sector, building capacity and capability.   

Following a scoping of the play, active recreation sector in 2020, gaps in provision of opportunities were identified. They include but are not limited to: (1) participation opportunities for intellectually disabled tamariki and rangatahi, (2) participation opportunities for tamariki and rangatahi who have invisible impairments, and (3) inclusionary practices for all impairments. The Disability Inclusion Fund aims to address these gaps by investing in sustainable change.   

What types of organisations can apply? 

Sport NZ is seeking applications for the Disability Inclusion Fund from national and regional providers of play, active recreation and sport, who provide access to, or deliver, proven quality and equitable participation opportunities of their choice for disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi.  

We are seeking to fund those organisations who can clearly demonstrate how they are able to make sustainable changes within their networks to help us achieve success, across the disability spectrum, including physical disabilities, and particularly in the focus areas of intellectual impairments, invisible impairments and inclusionary practices for all impairments. 

We encourage partnerships and alliances to apply through a joint application, particularly where non-disability-specific play, active recreation or sport organisations work with disability-specific play, active recreation or sport organisations. 

If your organisation’s application is successful, a requirement of receiving investment will be engagement and collaboration of your organisation with other appropriate/specialist organisations within the disability play, active recreation and sport sector to support your initiative. Sport NZ can assist you to make appropriate connections in this regard. 

How much will Sport NZ invest in each proposal? 

The Disability Inclusion Fund is a total amount of $3,600,000 to be invested over three years at approximately $1,200,000 per year. Applicant organisations can apply, individually or collectively, for single or multi-year funding for any value, up to a maximum amount of $100,000 per year.  

Sport NZ has absolute discretion to determine the final amount, if any, to be awarded from the Fund to each eligible applicant. Should any of the Fund remain unallocated after year one, there will be additional funding round/s made available in due course. In the event that the Fund is oversubscribed, Sport NZ will prioritise a portfolio of successful applicants and some applications which appropriately satisfy the eligibility criteria and assessment criteria will be deemed unsuccessful. 

What types of initiatives is Sport NZ looking for? 

Sport NZ will support initiatives that lead to sustainable changes within the applicant organisation’s networks and/or across the play, active recreation and sport sector, to provide disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi with quality and equitable participation opportunities of their choice, within an inclusive environment.  

In particular, this includes (although is not limited to) initiatives that engage disabled tamariki and rangatahi who: 

  • have intellectual impairments 
  • have invisible impairments 

Or, when compared to those disabled tamariki and rangatahi who are already participating: 

  • have lower levels of physical activity  
  • have fewer opportunities to participate 
  • are less interested in existing opportunities 
  • are less able to access existing opportunities. 

3. Eligibility Criteria 

Who can apply? 

The Disability Inclusion Fund is open to national or regional organisations, both those with experience in using play, active recreation and sport to engage and support disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi, particularly those experienced in working with intellectual and/or invisible impairments, and those wishing to explore new and innovative opportunities in the space.  

National organisations are those providers who are either recognised as the national body for an activity or have national reach. In both these instances there must be demonstrated impact on disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi from more than one region in New Zealand. 

Regional organisations are those providers who deliver to disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi solely within their region. If a regional organisation has a national body, they should inform the national body of the application and work proposed, prior to submitting the application.   

Sport NZ encourages joint applications from organisations across the play, active recreation and sport sector, where organisations will work together to create sustainable changes within the sector. The primary purpose of a lead applicant organisation must be play, active recreation or sport, and they must be able to demonstrate that they have a proven track record in providing quality services to disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi. However, this does not preclude lead applicants from applying in collaboration with organisations for whom the primary purpose is not play, active recreation or sport and/or do not have experience in providing quality services to disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi.

Who cannot apply? 

  • Individuals 
  • Organisations whose primary purpose is not play, active recreation or sport (unless they are working on a joint proposal in collaboration with a national or regional organisation whose primary purpose is play, active recreation or sport and who acts as the lead applicant) 
  • Organisations without experience in providing play, active recreation or sport opportunities to disabled tamariki and rangatahi (unless they are working on a joint proposal in collaboration with a national or regional organisation with experience in providing play, active recreation or sport opportunities to disabled tamariki and rangatahi and who acts as the lead applicant) 
  • For profit businesses, professional sports teams, schools (unless they are working on a joint proposal in collaboration with a national or regional organisation whose primary purpose is play, active recreation or sport and who acts as the lead applicant) 

Multiple applications and applications for multiple organisations 

Sport NZ encourages joint applications from organisations across the play, active recreation and sport sector. For example, a national or regional organisation may apply on behalf of many regional or local organisations for a joint proposal. In this instance, there must be a lead organisation for the application, and the funding will be paid to the lead applicant. 

An applicant organisation may submit multiple applications, but can only be the sole or lead applicant on one application, and must be a collaborator in the other application/s.  

For single-year applications, each organisation may apply only once per funding round. For multi-year applications that are successful, the organisation (or consortium of organisations) is precluded from applying in future funding rounds. 

What we will fund 

We will fund initiatives for disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi: 

  • that lead to sustainable change 
  • that promote an inclusive environment for all impairments
  • that provide disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi with quality and equitable participation opportunities of their choice 
  • who have intellectual impairments and/or invisible impairments 
  • who have physical impairments
  • who have lower levels of physical activity and/or who have fewer opportunities to participate than those already participating 
  • who are less interested in, or are less able to access, existing opportunities than those already participating 

What we will not fund 

  • Existing and/or established initiatives that are currently funded by Sport New Zealand (for example Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa), High Performance Sport New Zealand or through other established disability funding sources (for example, public sector)
  • Requests for retrospective funding 
  • High performance sport 
  • Competition campaigns or entry fees 
  • International travel 
  • Catering 
  • Uniforms 

4. Assessment Criteria 

Sport NZ is committed to improving diversity and inclusion and is seeking to create sustainable change within the play, active recreation and sport sector, to provide disabled tamariki and rangatahi (including young people up to age 24) with quality and equitable participation opportunities of their choice, and an inclusive environment in which to participate.  


Applicant organisations must provide clear evidence of its leadership in the disability space. Priority will be given to applications for proposed initiatives from organisations who can demonstrate that they: 

  • provide access to and/or deliver proven quality and equitable participation opportunities of their choice for disabled tamariki and rangatahi  
  • have a clear commitment to increase both the profile of disability and positive attitudes towards disability in play, active recreation and sport. 


Applicant organisations must clearly describe how their proposed initiatives will engage with the target audience. Applications must clearly demonstrate how the proposed initiatives will positively impact on disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi, particularly those who have: 

  • intellectual impairments and/or  
  • invisible impairments and/or 
  • lower levels of physical activity and/or  
  • fewer opportunities to participate and/or 
  • are less interested in existing opportunities and/or 
  • are less able to access existing opportunities. 

Applications must clearly demonstrate also how the proposal will create an inclusive environment for the targeted audience and/or inclusionary practices.  


Applicant organisations must consider the legacy and/or sustainability of the proposed initiatives, beyond the funding period. Applications must provide clear detail of how the proposed initiatives will create sustainable change within the applicant organisation’s networks and/or across the play, active recreation and sport sector, to provide disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi with quality and equitable participation opportunities of their choice, within an inclusive environment.  

For example, your application could include descriptions of: 

  • your plans for the ongoing sustainability of the proposed initiatives or the legacy you hope to create from this proposal 
  • your plans for continuing the proposed initiatives beyond the requested funding period 
  • changes to be gained in perceptions or motivations of the target audience whom you will reach through the proposed initiatives
  • new insights to be gained through the development and delivery of your proposed initiatives, which you could share with Sport NZ and others, to inform the development of future initiatives
  • new or strengthened relationships you have with other organisations and groups in the community, as a result of working together on the proposed initiatives
  • new or strengthened community-connectedness, as a result of the proposed initiatives. 


Applicant organisations must provide clear detail of how the proposed initiatives align with Sport NZ’s strategy, primarily:


Capacity and Capability – applicant organisations must demonstrate that they have the experience, capacity and capability to deliver the proposed initiatives, including evidence of: 

  • proven ability to create participation opportunities to engage disabled tamariki and/or rangatahi to become more active through play, active recreation and sport 
  • readiness, capacity, expertise and skills to deliver, including the capability of the project team to manage the proposed initiatives and the investment 
  • partnerships with other key stakeholders to enable success (this may include partnering with organisations who have complementary skills and experience). 

Initiative Plan – applications must provide an appropriate plan for the proposal, including: 

  • a clear goal/vision for the proposed initiatives – and a way of demonstrating progress against the goal/vision 
  • a clear rationale for the proposed initiatives – which strongly aligns with organisational strategy (and Sport NZ strategy, as above) 
  • an outline of the expected reach of the proposed initiatives – for example, including (as relevant) the number of participants who will have the opportunity to participate, the number of locations, and your access to suitable facilities 
  • effectively describing the project scope, key deliverables or milestones, people resources, costs, timeframe and risk management. 

Initiative Budget – applications must provide an appropriate budget for the proposal, including: 

  • details of all costs associated with the proposed initiatives
  • details of all income which will support the proposal (both cash and in kind), from all sources of income 
  • how much investment the application is requesting from Sport NZ to support the proposal. 

Sport NZ encourages applicants to also look to obtain funding for this proposal from other sources and to include this detail within your budget.  

Evaluation and monitoring expectations 

As part of your proposal, and appropriate to the scale of your proposed initiatives, we are looking to understand how you will: 

  • measure and demonstrate progress against your activity 
  • show the impact, or what has changed, as a result of the work you are doing. 

All successful applicants will also be expected to actively contribute to a Sport NZ-led evaluation programme, which may include:  

  • willingness to share all learning from the work, especially lessons about what works (or does not work) when trying to engage with disabled tamariki and rangatahi, potentially as part of a workshop for successful applicants 
  • successful applicants reporting to Sport NZ on the implementation of the agreed initiatives annually 
  • Sport NZ conducting interviews with successful applicants or requesting additional information to support the overall evaluation programme. 

5. How to apply 

All applications must be submitted during the period that applications are open: from 9:00am 6 September to 12.00pm 18 October 2021, using the application form in the link above. All applicants must address all of the questions on the application form. We cannot accept additional information or requests to change your submission after the closing date 12.00pm 18 October 2021. 

Alternate forms of application submission 

Where possible, applications should be submitted in the form provided, and with the attachments requested. Where this is not possible, we will accept alternate forms of submission such as video or audio recording. Irrespective of the application format, sufficient information must be provided to enable assessment against the eligibility and assessment criteria. Any incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible for funding. 

Submitting a video recording 

If your organisation wishes to submit a video recording, either as a component of the application, or as an alternate form of submission, the following guidelines should be adhered to: 

  • The recording should ideally be between three and 10 minutes long 
  • The recording must be filmed horizontally (landscape) and not vertically (portrait)  
  • Please ensure you have permission to use and to feature all those who are on it 
  • Please use plain or blurred backgrounds for interviews 
  • Videos must be uploaded to an online platform and the link shared in the application form 
  • If applicants choose to upload to YouTube the URL must not be password protected and selected as ‘unlisted’. This ensures your video is not available to general public and can only be accessed by entering the correct URL directly into a web browser 

If you need further guidance in the application process or format, or experience technical difficulties submitting your application before the closing date, you can contact with your queries. 

Assessment process 

All applications will initially be assessed against the eligibility criteria. All eligible applications will then proceed to be assessed against the assessment criteria. 

An overview of the process for the Disability Inclusion Fund is as follows: 

  1. Sport NZ will review the eligibility of all applications against the eligibility criteria. Those applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be assessed any further. 
  2. Sport NZ will assess all eligible applications against the assessment criteria. 
  3. Sport NZ may contact the applicant to seek further information or clarification. 
  4. Sport NZ will advise all applicants by email of the result of their application – either successful (with the amount approved), or unsuccessful. 
  5. An investment schedule with agreed initiatives is signed by Sport NZ and the primary applicant of each successful application. 
  6. Sport NZ will pay the primary applicant of each successful application by bank transfer. 
  7. Sport NZ will publish a list of all successful applicants and the amount paid to each on our website. 
  8. Successful applicants implement the agreed initiatives and report to Sport NZ on the implementation of the agreed initiatives as noted in Evaluation and monitoring expectations as above. 

6. Additional information 

Protecting your information 

Before completing an application, please read the following information regarding Sport NZ’s obligations in relation to the information you will provide with your application. You should only proceed if you are happy to comply with these requirements. 

Official Information Act 1982 

The Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) covers how Sport NZ must handle requests for its official information.  Applications for funding are among the documents that can be requested under the OIA. The general expectation, as expressed by the Chief Ombudsman, is for official information to be released (either pro-actively or in response to a request), unless there are clear grounds to withhold it. Personal information provided with your application will not be released. 

Privacy Act 2020 

The Privacy Act 2020 covers how Sport NZ collects and stores personal information, including personal information provided with applications for funding, and what procedures are required to protect the security of that information. It also covers how long we can keep personal information, what the personal information can be used for and when it can be disclosed. We might use personal information provided by you in order to conduct appropriate identity checks. 

Accuracy of your information 

It is the responsibility of the primary applicant to ensure that all information contained in the application is accurate. If you provide false or inaccurate information in your application or at any point in the life of any funds Sport NZ award you and fraud is identified, we will provide details to fraud prevention agencies to prevent fraud and money laundering. If you are a company this will include the names of the Company Directors at the time of the fraud. You must undertake to inform all Directors, Trustees and Committee members of this notice.

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

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