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Resilience fund helps 49 groups

Covid-19 assistance of $440,000 for region's sports.

Grassroots sport in the region has received a $440,000 funding boost from the Sport NZ Community Resilience Fund since the Covid-19 lockdown.

The second round of funding, for active recreation or sport organisations experiencing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19, ended on September 4.

Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti, which administered the fund locally, handed out $305,131 during the five weeks the second round was open.

That was in addiition to the $136,142 awarded during the first phase in May and June.

“We had a big response from clubs, who could apply for up to $25,000 to help them cover essential costs,” said Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti active communities adviser Helayna Ruifrok.

The relief funding, which was part of the Government's $265 million Covid-19 sport recovery package, saw 49 local sport and recreation organisations in financial hardship assisted with their fixed and operational costs over the July to September period.

“We are well aware of the critical role our sport and recreation groups play in keeping our community engaged and well, so it was great to help support them financially during this challenging time”, said Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti chief executive officer Stefan Pishief.

“Our insights captured in the months following the initial lockdown found that 78 percent of our regional sporting system expected Covid to have a moderate or significant financial impact on their organisation.

“After distributing two rounds of relief funding we're happy to see our codes beginning to find their feet once again, although we recognise that there is still much uncertainty ahead,” he said.

Of the 49 successful applicants, 29 percent were from East Coast or rural groups and 76 percent were totally volunteer-run or with only minimal staff.

The spread of applications was from Tikitiki to Tahunga.