Community sport, basketball targeted in latest sports relief fund

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Jul 2020, 8:59PM
Basketball gets a special mention in latest government funding. Photo / Photosport

Community sport, basketball targeted in latest sports relief fund

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Jul 2020, 8:59PM

Community sport has been targeted in the first major release of the Government's Covid-19 recreation recovery package.

And basketball – bypassed in the much smaller initial package – has won a special mention after its boss Iain Potter claimed his sport had been "kicked in the guts" by the snub.

Sport New Zealand had claimed the national basketball league did not qualify for any handout in the first $4.6m release. But Potter hit back saying its league was similar to that run by netball, which won $2.2m.

The Government appears to have responded to Potter's claim that basketball suffered an institutional bias against it.

Potter told Newstalk ZB on Tuesday that basketball is getting $300,000 for the men's national league, and $200,000 for the women's league.

He said it was "relief with a capital R" and that the women's league would probably have collapsed this season without this money.

Minister of Sports and Recreation Grant Robertson announced where about one third of the $265m package will go.

"Today we're setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite level," he said.

"All levels of the sector have been affected by COVID-19 and this funding is focused on making sure the sector continues to thrive, while also ensuring New Zealanders can continue to maintain their wellbeing through physical activity."

The details are:
1) A $68m fund named Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa will support community sport. This particularly aims to help "younger people who are missing out, particularly in higher deprivation areas".
2) A $25.4m fund to bolsters Sport NZ's partners, including helping with the costs to run national leagues with basketball getting a special mention.
3) $10m for a second Community Resilience Fund to provide more support for local and regional organisations.
4) An "initial" $7.3m to upgrade facilities for upcoming hosting of world cups.

The total support package over four years was revealed in May's Budget 2020.