A $52,000 grant has been approved towards the sports court upgrade at Tiniroto School.
The existing court at the school is rarely used by pupils because it is very old and in a poor state with no equipment. Being the only facility in the Tiniroto area, the 15 pupils and the wider community have been missing out on sporting opportunities.
This is set to change from Term 4 when the existing court is re-surfaced, fenced, shaded and has equipment, such as ball hoops and tennis nets installed. “I cannot say enough about the significance of this grant on the school pupils and the wider community,” says Jen Alley, a member of the Tiniroto School Board of Trustees. “As a decile 4 school, many of the kids have no other opportunity apart from school to acquire basic sports skills in netball, basketball, tennis, hockey and soccer. For a long time, we have had no suitable facility fit for purpose.”
The school and the wider community had fundraised tirelessly for over year to fund the court upgrade at Tiniroto. Despite significant fundraising over the past year, which saw the production of a book, sausage sizzles, firewood, raffles, crutching days and stock drives, the school did not have sufficient funds to see the project become a reality. The recent grant from NZCT has made this significant project possible.
“Having a great court facility will mean our kids will gain basic sporting skills, knowledge, competitiveness, confidence and enjoyment,” says Jen. “This project will give them an opportunity to take these skills further in the future. The whole community will be able to use and benefit from this new court, as individuals, groups and families. It will create a great sense of pride amongst our school kids and community and a confidence that they are not missing out, despite our remote rural location.”
Shading of half the court is a key aspect of the project given the extreme summer temperatures in the area and minimal natural shade at the school. It will give pupils and community users the opportunity to use the facility safely in summer and will help promote sun safety and awareness.
“When I found out that our application to NZCT had been successful, I was so incredibly pleased for our school and community,” says Jen. “The whole process with NZCT was a great experience. The online portal was simple and the staff were helpful and turned our application around fast.”