7 May 2020

$25 million sport relief package announced

8:09 am on 7 May 2020

A $25 million sport relief package has been unveiled but it comes at a price for the likes of programmes such as KiwiSport.

Oamaru old boys rugby football club (in black) vs Kurow (red)

Oamaru old boys rugby football club (in black) vs Kurow (red) Photo: supplied/Lisa Scott

The package is primarily aimed at local and regional sport and recreation groups struggling due to Covid-19.

Sports clubs will be able to apply to a $15 million community fund for up to $1000 while regional bodies can apply for up to $40,000.

There's $6 million set aside in business support for national sports organisations to cover roles which are at risk due to the pandemic.

$3 million has also been allocated to promote play, active recreation and sport for those who are less active, disabled or live in high deprivation areas.

The package is not funded out of new money but rather a re-prioritising of projects and Sport NZ cash reserves.

One of the casualty's is KiwiSport, a government funded programme to get more school children into sport.

It will miss out on $4 million as rules around mass gatherings during the pandemic have meant most KiwiSport programmes have been unable to go ahead.

"Clubs and regional organisations are the heartbeat of our sector but have been among the hardest hit by Covid-19, particularly through the loss of Class 4 gaming revenue and membership fees and they need support now more than ever," said Sport NZ CEO Peter Miskimmin.

"Play, active recreation and sport have a key role in maintaining individual health and wellbeing, bringing our communities together and keeping these communities strong," he said.

"It is vital that organisations at all levels of our sector remain viable and are there when play, active recreation and sport can fully resume, and we believe we have structured this relief package in a way that will maximise its benefit at all levels of the sector for the greatest possible good."