A new community ‘bank’ is set to open in Kāpiti with the aim of breaking down barriers to sport.
Alan Tristram reports it’s the brainchild of the Wellington City Mission which is proving the church can help in many areas of life.
The Sports Bank will give hard-hit members of the Kāpiti community access to free sporting equipment.
City Mission reaches out
The initiative has come from the Wellington City Mission, with the support of the Fun Zone Group and the local community.
Ray Tuffin, the Mission’s Community Development Manager, says the cost of equipment can prevent children and their whānau from accessing and taking part in sport.
“The aim of the Community Sports Bank Project is to eliminate the cost of equipment for those who need it and increase sport participation and activity” says Mr Tuffin.
“Not having sports equipment, like gloves or shinpads, can stop our young people from playing sport.”
Community sport banks across the region
The Kāpiti sports bank will be one of many Community Sports Banks to open in targeted communities across the Wellington region.
And Mayor K Gurunathan will open the Kāpiti Sports Bank at an event in Mazengarb Reserve on Saturday, 7 March, from 2pm to 4pm. Local sports organisations will help children in the community try their hand at new sports.
Tania Parata, Kapiti Coast District Council’s Connected Communities Manager, adds: “There is an abundance of good second-hand sports equipment (available) from clubs, sports organisations, the public, and the lost and found ( cupboards) at Council recreation centres and swimming pools. This will be put to good use through the sports bank.
“The initiative also ensures good quality sports equipment doesn’t go to waste or landfill.
“Globally, we know that young people are becoming less physically active. This programme is about the community providing the right gear so our rangatahi can enjoy and participate in sport and recreation,” says Ms Parata.
How it works
All sports gear, from swimming goggles to cricket bats, football boots to clothing, will be available in the sports bank for those who need it.
Coaches, clubs, schools and other agencies will identify those in need — and they will be able to access the sports bank for gear, using a card they are given.
The Mission has been working with Councils as well as 23 other organisations to open 14 Community Sports Banks within the Greater Wellington Region.
The KCDC says anyone who has sports gear they wish to donate can do so on the opening day on 7 March. Alternatively, they can contact the Council’s School Sports Coordinator on 04 2965 504 or the Regional Facilitator at Fun Zone Group, Rangi Esson at firstname.lastname@example.org