Sports Equipment Boost to Local Schools
Sport Waitakere is part of a national network of regional sports trusts and its aim is to get Kiwis more active, more often. They saw a need for support to the West’s low decile schools which often struggle with sports equipment that frankly has seen better days.
Sport Waitakere’s Community Sport Manager, David George explains, ‘Million Dollar Mission funding of $43,445 has been used to stock up the sports sheds of these schools and also to offer professional development to teachers, parents and the wider whānau so that they can provide quality sport and PE sessions to their tamariki.’
The sports equipment will be key to the children developing their fine motor skills. This in turn will have an impact on their ability to learn as they become better equipped to complete school-related tasks like writing and drawing.
In addition, the higher quality and wider variety of sports sessions in these schools will help to set the children on a lifelong path of enjoying sport, being physically active and forming the habits of a healthy lifestyle. With childhood obesity and poor rates of fitness becoming an increasing problem in our society, the contribution of this initiative will make a big difference to the kids out West.
For David George though, the real impact of the Million Dollar Mission has been on the children having fun through sport while also developing friendships and the ability to work as a team.
A Welcome Upgrade
‘We have witnessed first-hand the ripped up old netball being used for soccer, basketball and even dodgeball (poor kids!),’ advises David, ‘whereas now each school has a whole set of new equipment they can use ranging from rugby balls, hula hoops, cones and of course soft dodgeballs!’
‘This has given the kids access to activities they may never have had the opportunity to try and skills that they can polish up on to potentially forge their own sporting pathways.’
‘Seeing the looks on the faces of those kids who have never seen brand new sports gear before is enough to make even a big fella like me shed a tear!’
What’s more, the support of the Million Dollar Mission was instrumental in Sport Waitakere being able to leverage in additional resources from other bodies like the New Zealand Community Trust. As a result even more West Auckland children will benefit.
‘The Trusts Million Dollar Mission helped us get this project off the ground and now over 12,000 pieces of equipment sit in the hands of our West Auckland tamariki and potentially the next Valerie Adams or Michael Jones!’ advises David.
David concludes by saying, ‘Sports Waitakere and our schools are so grateful for the support of The Trusts. Thank you from us, thank you from the 29 schools and more than anything thank you from the 11,000 West Auckland children that have benefitted.’
We give back one million dollars of funding to community organisations like Sport Waitakere every year through Million Dollar Mission. It is just one of the many ways we give back to the West Auckland community.