Napier City Rovers Association Football Club, also known as The Thirsty Whale and The Pride of Hawke's Bay, has been awarded a grant of $15,000 from the New Zealand Community Trust towards the installation of new floodlights covering two football pitches.
Spokeperson Chris McIvor said, “Funding enables us to keep player and membership costs to affordable levels and ensure football opportunities are accessible. We aim to subsidise membership and players' fees, including free football for under 6s, to aid life-long participation in football and being part of a whanau-first club. We are based in Tamatea, a low-depravation suburb, so it is vital we limit the cost barrier to local tamariki and rangitahi.
“These new lights will provide opportunities for up to 500 players from five-year-olds to masters per week over 24 weeks every year. The current lights have been in action for 30 years and do not reach all areas of the fields and many are not functioning.
“Funding also allows us to maintain our operational costs, including running Bluewater Stadium and clubrooms - home to a number of community events reaching thousands of people annually. We are focused on income from fees for player development and experiences.”
Napier City Rovers was founded in 1973 by an amalgamation between Napier Rovers AFC and Napier City AFC. Since then, the club has grown into tone of the most successful provincial clubs in New Zealand and has enjoyed a proud history of producing players who have gone on to gain full international honours, representing New Zealand in the All Whites and Under 23s.
Boasting one of the most envied football grounds in the country, with results leading to League and Cup honours, Napier City Rovers has been able to attract top players from around the country and overseas, as well as pushing through real local talent to keep the Blues at the top of the ladder in NZ Football.