Netball participation is on the increase in Manawatu and a recent boost to funding will ensure it continues to grow.
Last month, Netball Manawatu was granted $85,000 by the New Zealand Community Trust to put towards salaries for four of their development officers.
Netball Manawatu general manager Samantha Ford says, in order for netball to continue to grow in the region, employed staff are pivotal alongside their many volunteers.
"Our staff enable us to implement new programmes and competitions allowing Netball Manawatu to diversify and deliver the organisation's vision to grow the game of netball."
Ford says they need to be well resourced so they can continue to support schools and other netball centres to encourage participation, enhance skill levels and develop a lifelong love of the game.
"Without this kind of support, it would be very difficult for Netball Manawatu to provide the level of service it currently provides to the community."
Costs and access have been identified as key barriers to participation. Ford says the continued support through funders such as NZCT enables people to be involved in innovative and diverse programmes which are affordable and meet the requirements of today's children, youth and adults.
"The funds which Netball Manawatu receives are vital to our organisation and enable us to keep netball affordable for everyone."
Story by Karla Karaitiana, first published in the Manawatu Guardian and reproduced with thanks