In more good news for the COVID-19 impacted community sports landscape, the New Zealand Football Foundation (NZFF) has approved two major funding projects, as well as announcing a second round of grants, to be launched in September.
A registered charitable trust created by New Zealand Football in 2010 – using $4 million of the funds generated from the All Whites’ qualification for the FIFA World Cup – the NZFF has over the past decade funded a range of projects, from supporting the Football Ferns build-up to the Rio Olympic Games, to transporting disadvantaged youth to Wellington Phoenix games.
The most recent funding round, which started in March and, despite the lockdown period, attracted 12 applications, has seen two projects win grants: a cross-code initiative between football, athletics, netball and basketball for four to 12-year-old boys and girls in Hamilton and Tauranga, and a ‘Football For All’ programme in South Auckland primary schools.
The cross-code and FFA programmes received $15,000 and $10,128 respectively, and implementation is expected to start in Term 3 (July 20) and carry through to Term 4.
Chief Executive Dr Michele Cox said both projects fitted extremely well within NZFF’s strategic framework, as well as meeting the fundamental themes of increasing access to, and alleviating hardship in, the game.
“We all know this is a really tough time for community sport and we want to throw our support behind initiatives that address the increasing challenges being faced by families and kids,” she said.
“At the heart of all sport is the community and our focus right now is on just that: engaging and empowering youth, girls and women, and making a social impact through football – which we think these two projects will do.”
Dr Cox was also delighted to announce a $10,000 grant to support New Zealand Football’s Small Whites programme in 2020 – made possible by a donation from former New Zealand Football board member Andy Smith – and continued support (through a combined fund with the New Zealand Professional Footballers Association) for young elite All Whites and Football Ferns, such as Anna Leat.
On top of that, the NZFF announced a commitment to a second round of funding grants in September.
NZFF honorary patron Sir Eion Edgar said there could hardly be a more important time to make sport as accessible as possible within the community, given the widespread effects of the lockdown and its impact on families and young New Zealanders.
“I’m very happy to see this support being extended to the grassroots of sport,” he said.
“These are trying times and it’s good to see the increasing levels of funding the NZFF is providing to the football community.”
The NZFF has capital invested of approximately $5.2 million, the interest from which underpins the grants. Over the past 10 years it has distributed more than $1.4 million in grants.
For more information on the NZFF please visit www.footballfoundation.org.nz .